Trading allegations: Khursheed Shah ‘had brother appointed as PEC chief’

Defence production minister claims opposition leader abused position for personal benefit

Our Correspondents January 30, 2016
Khursheed Shah PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: A day after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and PPP parliamentary leader Khursheed Shah traded barbs, Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain on Friday joined the fray, accusing the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly of misusing his position under the previous regime.

In a statement released on Friday, Hussain accused Shah of misusing his authority by getting his brother illegally elected to the chair of the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) when he was the minister of religious affairs in the PPP government between 2009 and 2013.

By the time his brother’s term ended, the government had changed hands and Shah had been appointed as the leader of the opposition. Despite crossing the aisle in the assembly, Hussain claimed that Shah utilised his influence over government officials to pressure the PEC into granting an extension, including approaching the defence production ministry.

When the extension was resisted, Shah wanted fresh elections for PEC chairman, but from the same company owned by his brother.

The defence production minister further alleged that his brother’s tenure as chairman of PEC coincided with the worst period of corruption and financial irregularities in the council. “Shah should avoid using his important portfolio to bargain for personal benefits from the government.”

Responding to Shah’s demand of holding judicial inquiries into the Army Public School Peshawar and the Bacha Khan University attacks, Hussain asked the opposition leader to tell the nation whether a single judicial commission was constituted to investigate the thousands of terrorist incidents which took place during the tenure of the PPP government.

Bilawal’s reaction

In the wake of ruling party’s verbal assault, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has alleged that the Punjab administration wanted to ‘snatch the mandate’ of his party in south Punjab as he warned the ruling PML-N that they had other options if their mandate was not accepted.

Directing workers and leaders to take a stand against the PML-N’s strong-arm tactics, Bilawal said that such bullying would not dissuade them. He added that repeating the 90s politics will be a big mistake by him and warned him to desist from such moves.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th,  2016.


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