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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader, Mohammad Zubair, on Friday, lashed out at Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, and questioned his credentials for contesting the Senate elections on the ruling party’s ticket.

Speaking at a news conference, the former governor Sindh, who is also spokesperson for former premier Nawaz Sharif and her daughter Maryam Nawaz, alleged that Hafeez Sheikh has no stake in Pakistan, and once the PTI government is over, “he would go back to Washington”.

He said “The ideological worker of the PTI should also listen to it and they need to question as to who is Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and why is he given the Senate ticket? He [Hafeez] has no commitment with Pakistan. He doesn’t reside in Pakistan when there is no “flag on his car”. Imran Khan has been lecturing that if you have commitment with Pakistan, then bring your assets to Pakistan. Two years have passed why he has not brought back his assets?” he posed more questions.

He further accused the finance minister running the country’s economy through more and more borrowing, adding, that his economic policies have resulted in increasing the poverty and unemployment in the country.

“Who is Hafeez Sheikh? The PTI members should also know. Asad Umar was removed and persons from the IMF and World Bank were brought through a conspiracy to destroy the country’s economy,” he maintained.

He further claimed that those who were against the IMF agreement were removed one by one, adding that the agreement with the IMF has resulted in rise in poverty, unemployment and inflation, adding that fiscal deficit has increased historic by eight percent consecutively in three years.

He also urged the PTI and its coalition members not to vote for Hafeez Sheikh, saying “he is not even a party member of the PTI”.

While speaking about the recent by-election in NA-75, Daska, the PML-N leader accused Prime Minister Imran Khan for the “conspiracy” directly, adding, that it demands lodging of criminal case of the “mess up” that was created in the constituency. “The same tactics which were used in 2018 general elections, were repeated in the by-polls,” he added.

Meanwhile, the PML-N spokesperson, Marriyum Aurangzeb, demanded action from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) against Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Punjab chief minister calling them the “chief culprits” responsible for the “theft” of votes and the “abduction” of the election staff in NA-75 by-elections.

She alleged in a statement that Prime Minister Khan and Chief Minister Buzdar “held the entire administration hostage”, including the chief secretary and the IG Police Punjab.

“Why was the chief secretary not available at the most crucial time and why did he not get back to the election commission? The Chief Secretary was well aware of the abduction of the commission’s staff which is why he gave assurance that they would return safely. All circumstantial and on-ground evidence testifies that Imran is the “main culprit” who tried to violate the sanctity of the vote and the trust of the people in electoral process. Justice would not be served unless the head of this rigging operation is not held accountable”, she further alleged.

She said that the Chief Election Commissioner should not turn a blind eye towards the real culprits and just like the “blatant rigging”. “Under Article 218, the ECP’s suo motu action is incomplete until Imran Khan and Usman Buzdar are indicted,” she added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021