ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Thursday said the government was trying to get dictatorial powers in the name of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Addressing a press conference here, Bilawal said that the Senate and the National Assembly were not taken into confidence on the legislation; the government had to play a responsible role on the FATF legislation. He said that the government was acting undemocratic and the opposition was being censored in the National Assembly. The government is fooling the people and the opposition cannot be silenced, he stressed. The bills, which have been passed today from the Senate and the National Assembly, are not controversial.
The government included the PPP's amendments in those bills, he added.
Bilawal said that the FATF bill became controversial because of the government's authoritarian nature and ego.
He said that the attitude of the government would increase the problems of the people. He said, what the government had done today was beyond comprehension. The government does not want the opposition to speak in the House.
Bilawal said that the government in the garb of the FATF, wanted to bring a legislation through which it could make any citizen a missing person for six months. The PPP could not allow this because our stance has been for democracy and basic human rights. The government wanted to get dictatorial powers using the backdoor but the PPP will never allow it to happen. The government is also trying to blend the FATF legislation with the legislation for the NAB. They are two different issues. The business community had met the army chief and the government and their narrative was that the NAB and business cannot go together.
In this regard, President Asif Ali Zardari had said long ago that the NAB and the economy cannot go together.
Bilawal said that after the verdict by the Supreme Court judge Justice Baqar, the NAB and democracy cannot go together.
They say that they are obeying the word of the International Court of Justice, those who were supposed to be the ambassador of Kashmir, are protecting Kulbhushan. Bilawal said that the government advisers should be probed for assets beyond income but Imran Khan was still protecting their corruption.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) should also file a case against Shahzad Akbar for assets in excess of income.
He has not declared his property abroad for the last two years. He demanded that all special assistants to the prime minister disclose their assets.
While criticizing Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) Asad Qaiser, he said that the speaker has not fulfilled his responsibility, he should follow the rules. He said the prime minister gave NRO to every case of mega corruption under his government, from BRT Project to Malam Jabba and from sugar to wheat scandals. He said that the wife of Justice Qazi Faez Isa is called by the FBR and asked to provide her money trail.
Imran Khan has given NRO via amnesties and he also gave NRO to his sister, Aleema Khan's corruption.
Every advisor and special assistant should also be asked to give their money trail. There has been no answer from the government about the foreign funding case. They are trying to hide behind the stay order.
The NAB will have to adopt the same process for the PTI, which it has adopted for the opposition. Bilawal said that the PTI government was trying to impose a ban on knowledge in the name of Islam.
The Punjab government has passed a resolution in this regard.
Islam asks all of us to acquire knowledge; we cannot ban books in the name of Islam.
Punjab Assembly should review its resolution.
He said that this government is also after social media and wants to ban social media and this kind of censorship is not in the interest of Pakistan.
It is unfortunate that the government is imposing censorship in the Senate and the National Assembly.Bilawal said that the PTI government had stopped testing for Covid-19 and was claiming that 19 districts of Punjab were Covid-19 free.
"They are lying because they are not conducting tests for Covid-19. This will further harm the health and economy of the country," he said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2020