Fawad rejects Shehbaz’ allegation of PTI, NAB alliance

Fawad rejects Shehbaz’ allegation of PTI, NAB alliance

Islamabad (Staff Report): Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday denied unholy alliance between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

While addressing the National Assembly (NA) session after Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif and PPP leader Khursheed deliver impassioned speeches, Fawad said democracy was not under threat by accountability but looters are. “People because of whom Pakistan is suffering will be held accountable,” he added.

Earlier, addressing the NA session after being produced in the house on orders of NA Speaker Asad Qaiser, the Opposition Leader thanked the Speaker for keeping party politics aside and issuing my production orders.

He also then thanked Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, leaders of the Awami National Party, MMA, and National Party president Hasil Bizenjo.

"If my inhibition isn’t wrong, it is the first time that the elected leader of opposition has been arrested in such a manner and that even without any charge," Shehbaz said.

The PML-N president said he would speak about the merit of the cases but he would discuss unholy alliance between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

"PTI and NAB work closely," he claimed while adding that the accountability bureau is targeting opposition parties.

‘Prime Minister Imran Khan is the product of electoral rigging. It has been proven that the 2018 General Election was rigged,’ the leader of the opposition in NA expressed.

Regarding the ongoing probe against him by the anti-corruption body, Sharif expressed that an official named Aftab inquired him about the Ashiana scam wondering about the 50 people regarding whom the premier talked about ‘arresting’ in his speech.

Shehbaz said he met Kamra Kiyani, the brother of former Chief of the Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, for the first time in 2008.

He added that a meeting was arranged with the then military chief Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani, where he complained about the slow pace of work at a project acquired by his brother Kamran Kiyani.

Shehbaz Sharif claimed that he cancelled the contract awarded to Kamran Kiyani, without any complaint by Ashfaq Kiyani.

‘Ashfaq Kiyani informed me that I was authoritative enough to cancel the contract,” said the lawmaker.

The PML-N chief expressed that even the contract regarding Ashiana-i-Iqbal worth Rs 1.5 billion was not awarded to Kamran Kiyani adding that NAB inquired him about not taking any action on a report compiled by Tariq Bajwa.

“The government run by Pervez Elahi had awarded the Ashiana project to Kamran Kiyani,” clarified the lawmaker.

‘Is this the National Accountability Bureau or National Blackmailing Bureau,’ wondered the former chief minister.

‘I have made mistakes but gave my blood and sweat for governance in Punjab,’ said Shehbaz, his voice catching with emotions.

Sharif expressed that as a public representative, Pakistani and a humble political worker, he wanted to tell you [NA Speaker] that he had done nothing except serving the people honestly.

‘I was alleged by Imran Khan of having assets in China and NAB is repeating the same claims now,’ decried Shehbaz Sharif.

Shehbaz Sharif claimed that he was asked whether he would become an approver against former foreign minister Khawaja Asif or not.

‘I asked the NAB officials whether I was summoned for investigation or becoming approver against someone,’ said Sharif.

The members from the opposition and treasury benches kept on engaging with each other as the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz president was delivering his comments before the house for the first time after arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Earlier, the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, who has been in the NAB's custody since October 5 in connection to the Ashiana Housing Scheme case, was brought to Islamabad from Lahore by a two-member team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

At the Parliament House, the NAB team handed over Shehbaz to the deputy sergeant at arms, who signed on documents regarding the opposition leader's brief custody.

Last week, NA Speaker Asad Qaiser issued Shehbaz's production orders.

The session of the National Assembly has been summoned on a requisition of PML-N leaders.

A PML-N delegation had visited the NA speaker's house and requisitioned that a session of the Lower House be called immediately to debate over the arrest of the opposition leader.

Meanwhile, an accountability court in Lahore granted NAB a 14-day extension in the physical remand of Shehbaz Sharif on October 16.

The former Punjab chief minister was arrested on October 5 when he appeared before NAB to record his statement in the Punjab Saaf Pani Company case.