LAHORE: Rulers talk about conspiracies but do not reveal the names of conspirators. A couple of days ago, government ministers accused some foreign elements of hatching a conspiracy against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) government through Panama case. Was Tariq Shafi hatching the conspiracy against his cousin, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif?
These were the remarks made by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Information Secretary Shafqat Mahmood while speaking at a news conference on Sunday.
He said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government had hatched a conspiracy against the Sharif family by claiming the entire record of Gulf Steel Mill (GSM) was fake. He said Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif refuted the statement made by his cousin Tariq Shafi before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). “The CM has direct connections in the GSM scam but was trying to refute his association with this mill,” he added.
Shafqat said Iceland’s investigation agency confirmed that Maryam Nawaz was the real owner of Neilson and Nescol companies. “An international forensic firm pointed out the use of Calibri font by the ruling family in the documents almost a year before it was actually created,” he added. “Moreover, Jabal Ali Free Zone Authority highlighted that the premier Sharif was initially appointed as marketing manager and later chairman of the FZE company. He asked if these were the conspiracies against the Sharif family.
He said another bank account was found in Saudi Arabia which was not declared earlier and around Rs1 billion was transferred to PM Nawaz through Hill Metal Company.
“A close friend of Nawaz Sharif, Saeed Sheikh, deposited $16 million in the company’s account and later transferred the amount to the Sharif family through his son, he added. It was a very easy and interesting way to convert black money into white, PTI leader maintained.”
He said Panama case was heading fast towards its logical conclusion and the ruling party ministers were in a state of great confusion. All political parties were convinced that premier Sharif should immediately tender his resignation. “The people of Pakistan had given Sharifs the right to govern but they indulged themselves in corruption,” he remarked. “Panama JIT did a commendable job by completing the detailed investigation in two months,” he underlined.
Shafqat said people who supported military dictator Pervez Musharraf, were defending premier Nawaz. “Earlier, Maulana Fazalru Rehman was defending Pakistan Peoples’ Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and now he is playing the same role for Nawaz Sharif,” he said. “When PTI will come to power, it will never make alliance with Fazal,” he added. “The party has great confidence in the Supreme Court of the country and it would accept the apex court verdict on Panama case,” he maintained.
Criticising Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, the PTI leader said instead of issuing statements on Panama JIT report, he should be worried for Model Town killings. He said criticism on PTI Chairman Imran Khan was irrational as he earned all his assets by playing cricket while the ruling family earned assets worth billions through corruption and money laundering.
Responding to a question, he said Naz Baloch did not hold any office in the party and it did not matter if she has switched her loyalty to join PPP.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2017.