'PML-N has ensured continuity of PTI govt'

PPP leader claims Sharif brothers guaranteed stability in exchange for leaving country


​ Our Correspondent March 12, 2020
Aitzaz Ahsan. PHOTO: FILE

HYDERABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has guaranteed the continuity and stability of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, claimed Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Aitzaz Ahsan, adding that the PML-N was the biggest obstacle to a unified opposition against the PTI government.

He was talking to the media in Hyderabad on Wednesday, outside the Sindh High Court. Ahsan and Advocate Farooq H Naek had earlier appeared in court to plead for bail of 16 persons, including businessman Iqbal Z Ahmed, in a National Accountability Bureau reference.

Ahsan claimed that the PML-N had guaranteed stability of the government against permission for the Sharif brothers to leave the country.

"[Prime Minister] Imran Khan wanted $2 billion to $3 billion in guarantee from the Sharifs before they left the country. But they traded not in cash but in kind, by lending the support of the party legislators for the amendment [in the act concerning appointment of the army chief]," he contended.

He further asserted that the Pakistani government could not bring them back because the British government would not deport them.

Comparing them to PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur, he said the latter had never even tried to get permission to travel abroad on health grounds, even though, according to him, Zardari's health was in worse condition. "The only plea that Zardari and Talpur have made is that their cases should be transferred from Islamabad to Karachi because the NAB had filed the reference against them in Karachi," he added.

Meanwhile, Naek appealed to NAB chairman Javed Iqbal to withdraw the reference against Ahmed and others because none of them were public office holders, arguing that their arrests were unlawful after the amendment in the NAB ordinance.

He added that only two of the 16 accused had been arrested. "There is no allegation of corruption or misuse of authority against them. The only allegation is that they paid a higher amount of sales tax which has actually benefited the national exchequer."

The SHC earlier heard Ahsan and Naek's arguments, as well as that of the NAB prosecutor, adjourning the hearing with directions to produce those seeking bail in court.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2020.

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