ISLAMABAD: The government on Saturday said that the accountability process would be taken to its logical conclusion and that the law would not differentiate between the rich and the poor.
The government maintained it had nothing to do with the activities of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), adding that the graft buster has the support of the law and the federal as well as the Punjab governments were bound by the law to assist it in performing its duties.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday also shared a Hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) on the microblogging website Twitter, saying: “Our Prophet PBUH said: "Many nations before you were destroyed where there was one law for the powerful and another for the weak.”
Separately, addressing a press conference, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry reiterated the government’s commitment to take the accountability process to its logical conclusion in order to lay the foundation of a prosperous Pakistan.
He said recovery of national wealth plundered by the corrupt elements, including the Sharif brothers and Asif Zardari, was imperative to improve the country’s economy.
“The Sharif family wants that the law should follow their whims and they should not be held accountable,” he said.
He added Pakistan’s total foreign debt from 1947 to 2007 was only $37 billion. The loans, he said, were judiciously utilised to execute many mega projects, adding that the foreign debt soared to a whopping $97 billion mark during 2008-18 period.
“The question is … where the $60 billion amount is?” he asked. “A major chunk of that amount was misappropriated by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari, who remained in government from 2008-2018,” he added.
The people would endure price hike and economic crunch till the recovery of the looted money from the two former rulers, he said, stressing that the “nation should not suffer” anymore. “The PTI government has taken bold decisions for economic stability.”
Referring to the killing of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in Model Town Lahore in 2014, he said the behaviour of the then Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government was totally different as compared to the current regime.
“Now in the same Model Town, PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz had confined himself in the basement of his house to avoid arrest and that too by making women and children shields,” he added. “Now is the time to distinguish between an act of crime and politics.”
He said the opposition leaders were trying to conceal the public money misappropriated by them. Hamza Shehbaz, he said, was being arrested in the light of statements of two witnesses, while evidence of wrongdoings by Shehbaz Sharif and his family was available.
He said NAB arrested two people, Fazal Dad and Qasim, who told NAB that they worked for the Sharif family and at the behest of Hamza Shahbaz and other members of the Sharif family, they sent billions of rupees abroad.
“Hamza should better cooperate with NAB and surrender himself before law, which otherwise would take its own course,” he warned. To a question, the minister said the opposition posed no threat to the government.
The minister said a crackdown had been launched against the people hoarding dollars, which had brought the value of the rupee down. He also criticised PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb for issuing baseless statements.
Fawad stressed that the government had nothing to do with NAB activities. He said it was Prime Minister Imran Khan who had raised voice against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement founder for his terrorist activities. “Today’s MQM-Pakistan is totally different from the past,” he added.