KARACHI: PPP’s central leader and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah has asked the Supreme Court to take action against those who have been trying to make the joint investigation team (JIT) ‘controversial’.
“The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has been trying to make the JIT – tasked with probing the Panama Leaks – controversial,” Shah said while talking to Daily Express at an Iftar hosted by local trader Muhammad Khan on Saturday.
He said two judges in the five-justice bench that heard the Panamagate case had explicitly spoken their minds while the remaining three judges had ordered investigation into the leaks. “The Supreme Court has formed the JIT after close deliberations.”
Shah said to make the working of the JIT controversial, a picture of Hussain Nawaz was leaked to the media. “What is there in the picture?” he asked, saying, “All investigations follow same procedure the world over.”
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“Now, they (the PML-N leadership) seem to be perturbed over the JIT questioning the princes,” the opposition leader said.
He said PPP Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and the late Benazir Bhutto had faced accountability and added that they always respected courts.
“The main purpose of creating the controversy is to try to compromise the investigation,” Shah said.
The opposition leader said: “Some people in the PML-N are hurling direct threats at the Supreme Court while different intimidating methods are being employed against the JIT that are tantamount to attacking the apex court.”
The PML-N had attacked the Supreme Court in the past, he added. “It is not new for them to hurl threats at courts.”
Responding to a question, Shah said today the country had no foreign policy, adding there was not a single neighbour with which we had good relations.
“Who is Donald Trump to interfere in Muslim Ummah’s affairs?” Shah questioned while referring to the Riyadh summit.
He said the world had seen the treatment meted out to the prime minister in the Riyadh summit even though Pakistan was a participatory member of the Islamic military alliance.
“Pakistan should try to forge unity in the Ummah,” the opposition leader said while underscoring the need for a foreign policy adopted by the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
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He said on the one hand India was involved in hatching conspiracies against the country while on the other our prime minister was meeting with Indian steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal.
“Nawaz Sharif should know that when he is the prime minster the country’s relations are formed keeping the state’s interests uppermost while setting aside his private or personal relations.”
Shah accused the government of adopting lopsided strategy while contesting the case of Indian Agent Kulbhushan Jadhav at the ICJ. “We should have contested the case on legal ground.”
Responding to another question, the opposition leader said the PPP was a party of the people and, therefore, “people have been coming into and going out of its fold”.
He admitted that the PPP had been standing on weak ground in Punjab but said that soon it would achieve success on that front.
Shah said loot and plunder had been going on in the PML-N government. “The government is being run on borrowed money.”
He said those who were promising to end load-shedding should tell where the electricity had gone. “The people of Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan are labelled as electricity thieves, but more electricity is being stolen in Punjab than any other part of the country.”
He called the ruling family ‘big thieves’.
On the working of the Public Accounts Committee, Shah said it was working satisfactorily, and added that there should be audit of large schemes. “Around Rs220 billion has been earmarked under the prime minister’s discretion. Where this amount will be used we have no idea.”
He said as against the PML-N’s government, there had been 125% increase in the salaries of civil servants while pensions were increased by 100%.
Shah also promised that with the completion of development schemes, Karachi would soon enjoy its old glory.
He also assured to raise the issue of implementation of Wage Award in the National Assembly.