LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders and members of the provincial cabinet paid rich tributes to former senior minister Abdul Aleem Khan for stepping down from his post and appreciated his services for the party.
Aleem was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials on Wednesday for owning assets beyond his known source of income. He faces multiple inquiries, including his involvement in the Park View Housing Society, River Age Housing Society and an offshore company Hexam Investment Overseas Ltd.
An emergent meeting was called at the Punjab Chief Minister’s Office to review the situation in the wake of the arrest of Aleem.
The meeting was jointly chaired by the Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar. Provincial ministers Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, Raja Basharat, Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Fayazul Hassan Chohan, Sibtain Khan, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Murad Raas, PTI Punjab President Ejaz Chaudhry, Provincial Advisor Aun Chaudhry, spokesman to chief minister Dr Shahbaz Gull and other senior leaders of the party attended the meeting.
The participants expressed their solidarity with Aleem Khan and while paying tributes they said that Aleem has rendered invaluable services for the party. They unanimously decided that no politics or blame game will be made on Aleem’s issue. Various participants maintained that they expect justice and added that the PTI believed in the supremacy of law.
They highlighted that no state institution was under any governmental pressure now. The previous governments tried to denigrate institutions through their gratuitous condemnation. Unlike the past governments, the PTI-led government fully believed in the supremacy of law and justice. They expressed hope that the law will take its course and Aleem will get justice.
Speaking to the media, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said the government was establishing the rule of the law in the country. The arrest of Aleem had proved that there was no political interference in the functioning of national institutions. Now it was the responsibility of the NAB to arrest all those who had looted and plundered the country during the last three decades.
“Aleem Khan tendered his resignation following his arrest as per standard international norm everywhere in the developed world and the same is prevalent in the PTI,” said the governor. He added that
Aleem presented himself before the anti-corruption watchdog whenever he was summoned. The governor said that he was very hopeful that truth will prevail once Aleem’s case would be heard in the court of law.
Talking about Aleem’s arrest, Punjab Minister for Information Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan said: “It is the prerogative of anti-corruption watchdog to arrest any civil servant or politician for investigation, especially in cases involving money. Aleem is just taken into custody for investigations. His arrest does not mean that he has been declared accused or convict,” he stressed.
He highlighted that contrary to other political parties in the country, the PTI government would never dare to influence or create hurdles in independent investigations.
Contrary to Zardari or Sharifs, Aleem presented himself before the NAB on the second hearing. He (Aleem Khan) did not utter a word against the bureau or criticised courts.
He pointed out that no PTI leader criticised the anti-corruption watchdog while Sharifs and Zardari always did mudslinging and hurled false allegations on state institution whenever they were summoned by the NAB or courts.