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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader and former prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on Tuesday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had given Senate tickets to those people who were not party loyalists, like in 2018, due to which his own workers were slipping away from him.

“Imran Khan was trying to give Senate tickets to those who have nothing to do with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) like in 2018. Today, his own party has shown no confidence over Khan. When party workers express no confidence over the party leader then he has no existence,” he said this while talking to media persons after appearing before the Accountability Court in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case against him and others.

He said that the PMN-N had voted for former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and we remained part of that government.

Gilani was disqualified by the court, after he failed to implement court decision, he said. Today he is the part of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and he is qualified to become a Senator, he said, adding that he is our candidate from the PDM platform.

Abbasi said that it was very astonishing that the present government wanted to hold Senate election through open ballet but did not change holding of Senate chairman election which held through secret ballot. To a question about the government’s decision to not to renew Nawaz Sharif’s passport, he said that Sharif was a respectable citizen of this country, and also remained prime minister three times, and this corrupt government has no authority to cancel his passport.

Sharif went abroad for treatment and will return to the country after completing his treatment, he said.

Abbasi said that the video of sale and purchase of votes in 2018 Senate election was available.

Those who were counting and receiving money in the video were from the PTI, he said, adding that according to former member of provincial assembly (MPA), the then chief minister had given them money who is now our defence minister.

He alleged that the man in whose house money was provided to the MPAs was former speaker Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and he is now the speaker National Assembly.

The chairman of the party which was involved in selling and purchasing of votes is now the prime minister of this country, he said.

The PML-N leader said that a committee has been constituted by the government to probe the matter regarding sale and purchase of votes but its members were themselves involved in such a bad practice.

Has the chairman NAB not seen the video showing lawmakers receiving money for voting in 2018 Senate election? he asked.

He said that in spite of the passage of two and a half years, neither a single proof of corruption has been produced, nor there is any case against the PML-N leadership.

“We have an open challenge for the chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Prime Minister Imran Khan that we have served this country for five years, if you have any corruption case against us then file it against us,” he said.

Criticising the present government, he said that the PTI-led government had made commission over sugar and wheat crises but there was no report.

Where is the report of the debt commission which had been made by this government, he said, adding that the main reason of not making public report of debt commission as the present government has taken record loan in the country history.

About Broadsheet, he said that over Rs 10 billion has been wasted in Broadsheet case but so far no one has been identified responsible for this big loss.

Broadsheet owner Kaveh Moussavi said that British journalist David Rose has played a role in his meeting with Shehzad Akbar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability and the State Minister for Interior, he said. Abbasi alleged that former accountability court judge Muhammad Arshad Malik had been purchased to punish and sentence former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. The chairman NAB and the superior courts of this country do not see this case, he asked, adding that the judge had been removed, and died but sentence awarded to Sharif still exists. He said that a PTI MNA in his interview said that he had never seen such a corrupt government in the history of this country.

Earlier, he along with the accused appeared before the Accountability Court-II Judge Muhammad Azam Khan in the LNG case.

The court adjourned hearing of the case till February 23 without any proceedings due to the lawyers protest.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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