Opposition demands action over FIA report on sugar, wheat crisis

PM’s aide says Imran has started accountability process in his party, Shehbaz should follow suit

​ Our Correspondent April 05, 2020
Opposition leaders interact during a luncheon hosted by PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Islamabad. PHOTO: INP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties on Sunday demanded that action should be taken over an inquiry commission’s report which has held the PTI government’s decision to allow the export of sugar responsible for the increase in its price.

PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif maintained that the report provided incriminating evidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

“Let's see what kind of punishment Imran, who is the chairman of the Economic Coordination Committee, decides for himself and Buzdar,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

Shehbaz also said he had returned to the country to help the country fight the coronavirus outbreak, keeping politics and personal interests aside.

Responding to the PML-N president’s statement, Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the opposition leader should hold his own party accountable as according to the report, his son Salman Shehbaz Sharif was given subsidies worth Rs1.4 billion during the PML-N government's tenure.

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“The prime minister has fulfilled the promise that he had made to the people,” she told reporters in Sialkot.

She said the prime minister had vowed to launch an inquiry when saw that there was a fake sugar and wheat shortage being created in the country.

She added that PM Imran had started the accountability process in his own party and Shehbaz should also follow in his footsteps.

“He [Shehbaz] should take action against his family members who benefitted from the artificial wheat and sugar crises.”

Later in the day, PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb said the government spokesperson was distorting the facts in the report.

“Distortion of truth and diversions cannot change the fact that the prime minister and Punjab chief minister have been declared thieves in the investigation report,” she added.

"It is unprecedented in the history of the country that a prime minister is a wheat and sugar thief. Imran Khan has been caught trying to load the ATMs that run his kitchen and his party.”

She said the Sharif family had neither taken a single rupee in subsidy, nor exported a pinch of sugar.

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“The report does not even mention the name of Shehbaz Sharif, nor is he in power,” she added. The report categorically names and shames Imran Khan, Usman Buzdar, Jahangir Tareen and Khusro Bakhtiar.”

PPP leader Sherry Rehman has demanded that the National Accountability Bureau should investigate into the findings of the report.

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