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Three Cabinet members come to govt’s defence after Shehbaz’s criticism

Ask for clarity on corruption cases against the opposition leader

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 12, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Jul 12, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has criticised the PTI government for increasing prices of commodities and load-shedding. After this, three Cabinet members, including Fawad Chaudhry, Hammad Azhar, and Shahzad Akbar, addressed a press conference against Shehbaz's remarks.

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry started the conference and reiterated Pakistan's stance in the Afghan peace progress. "As our PM said, we will be their partner in peace and not in conflict," he said, adding that all opposition parties have supported this statement too.

He said that he will discuss two more issues related to domestic politics: Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections and Shehbaz Sharif's press conference.

"PTI is the only party that can field all its candidates on all seats in the elections," he remarked. "Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has run away because he found out that only eight people are contesting on the PPP's ticket," Chaudhry claimed. Bilawal, who led the PPP's campaign during the Gilgit-Baltistan Elections last year, has flown to the US, and his sister Aseefa Zardari will now lead the campaign.

Speaking about PML-N's Maryam Nawaz, Chaudhry said that she doesn't even know Kashmir's history. "She doesn't know the type of sacrifices Pakistanis have given for Kashmir. Her campaign is pointless and they have chanted slogans of rigging already," he said. "They have no political position in Kashmir and she knows it."

The information minister then spoke about Shehbaz Sharif's press conference. He spoke about the gas and electricity crises in the country. "We thought he would speak about the cases against him and tell us his position."

He added, "whenever Shehbaz is asked about money laundering, he says he built the metro in Lahore; whenever he is asked about his son running abroad, he claims that he launched water initiatives in Punjab; whenever he is asked about the funds transferred to his account, he claims to have served the people of Punjab."

NAB has proof that he received funds from London and Paris. He has many properties abroad, we only know about the properties mentioned in the Panama case. "They took the money abroad and bought properties for themselves. He [Shehbaz] should at least tell media about the cases against him."

'Shehbaz's claims are false'

Federal Energy Minister Hammad Azhar said that the claims made by Shehbaz were all false.

"Shehbaz claimed that load-shedding has increased now. Let me just clarify that load-shedding occurs because of distribution problems and it has nothing to do with production."

We had a capacity to distribute 20,000 Megawatts of power, and we increased it to 24,000 MW.

"During the tenures of previous governments, Pakistan had signed contracts in which it was paying for power even when it wasn't using it." He remarked that contracts harmed the economy.

Shehbaz's harassment claims

Advisor to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar spoke about Shehbaz's harassment complaint against the Federal Investigation Agency.

The FIA had summoned Shehbaz on June 15 and he appeared before it on June 22. In its summon, FIA attached a questionnaire and asked him to submit his reply.

In July, he remembered that he was harassed on June 22. "Shehbaz has become chui mui Shareef now. He gets upset on small things." This is being done because he wasn't allowed to travel to London.

The Sharif brothers are known to make controversial statements about institutions and even attacking them when they want to show the unjust treatment meted out to them, Akbar claimed.

NAB has claimed that the assets of Shehbaz and his sons, Sulaiman and Hamza, and their families increased by Rs7 billion. This is an asset beyond means case.

The FIA has accused the family of money laundering too. Their two sugar mills, Ramzan and Al-Arabiya, were being used to launder money, Akbar said, adding that details show that suspicious transactions were carried out through the accounts of 14 mill employees, including one who has died. These included drivers, peons, assistant managers, and cashiers.

When FIA asked him tough questions, Shehbaz claimed that he was being harassed, the adviser added.

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