ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Thursday that Prime Minister Imran Khan and chairman Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) were responsible for sugar crisis in the country; therefore, the anti-graft body should summon them and put them behind bars.
Talking to media after appearing before the Accountability Court in the Liquefied National Gas (LNG) case, he said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) should summon those ministers who were the owners of 40 percent sugar of the country who make decisions.
Due to which prices of one kg sugar increased from Rs 53 to Rs 115 in the country, he said.
He said that today, people have been forced to stand in line to get one kg sugar with Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs).
“Sugar scam is very simple as the prime minister and his minister were responsible for sugar crisis; therefore, the NAB should make cases against them and put them in jail,” he said, adding that the PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif has been in jail for one and a half years without any allegations.
To a question about a letter issued to him by the National Assembly speaker to tender apology for misbehaviour and disregard of chair, he said that he will not apologise to the speaker or anyone else.
He said that two days ago, a senior journalist Absar Alam was shot and injured in a park in the capital city but no one knows who the attackers were and what motives were behind it.
Suppressing journalism through threats was not only a matter of concern now but also there were threats to lives of the journalists, he said.
He said that like the country’s worsening economy and failed foreign policy journalism was also under threat, pressure, and danger.
“We will raise this issue in the National Assembly tomorrow,” Abbasi said, adding that he have no hope from this government that they will talk about freedom of expression.
Abbasi said that the speaker of the National Assembly who does not allow him to speak on Namoos-e-Risalat in the parliament then how will not allow him to speak regarding freedom of the press.
Former premier said that the government was vaccinating its people through “charity vaccine.”
Present government has not been able to buy a single vaccine till date, he said, adding that Pakistan is the only country in the world where people were forced to get vaccine through their own money.
He asked the government to close the NCOC as it has failed to protect the people or make any policy.
The time is not far, when Pakistanis will be banned from travelling abroad, he said.
Earlier, he along with other accused appeared before the Accountability Court-II judge Muhammad Azam Khan in LNG case.
The judge inquired about the health of Barrister Zafarullah Khan from Abbasi who was tested positive for Covid-19 at the start of the hearing.
Abbasi told the judge he has tested positive for the coronvirus and is currently in isolation.
Hopefully by Tuesday next, he may recover and he will appear before the court if he tested negative, he further said.
The accused, Abbasi, and others were allowed to leave after marking their attendance. During the hearing, the judge said that today, we will conduct cross-examination of witness.
We have allocated on Tuesday only for a single case, the judge said, adding that the court will conduct day-to-day hearing of the case, if the proceedings did not progress.
The court asked whose counsel will cross examine the witness.
Abbasi’s son Abdullah Khaqan Abbasi told the court that his counsel will cross examine the witness.
He further said that his counsel will reach from Islamabad High Court (IHC) after some time. The court adjourned hearing of the case till April 27.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021