ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) secretary general, Ahsan Iqbal, Wednesday, expressed concerns that with the recent statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan about the nuclear arsenal of the country, there is a growing fear that the government may put the nukes of the country on mortgage to get loan.
To a question about the government decision to mortgage airports and highways to issue Sukuk bonds, he said, “after the statement of Prime Minister Imran Khan, we fear that the government may not mortgage Pakistan’s nuclear programme.”
Talking to reporters after appearing before the Accountability Court in the Narowal Sport City Complex Project (NSCCP) case, he said the “incompetent” government had destroyed investor’s confidence and now they were fleeing from Pakistan.
Even the country’s own investors were not ready to invest in Pakistan, he said, adding the government had become a security risk.
He said the government had given the powers of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) under which the FBR’s officials could arrest any businessmen.
“Who will invest in Pakistan under such circumstances,” he said.
About the government’s proposed electoral reforms, he said the government wanted to take job of Results Transmission System (RTS) from the electronic voting system by installing a chip in it.
He said he condemned the statement of Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry about the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in which, he tried to pressurise the commission.
The ECP should be an independent and sovereign institution but the government wanted it an institution like the NAB, he said, adding the government wanted the ECP to follow its instruction like the NAB.
To a question regarding meeting of former president Asif Ali Zardari and Punjab Assembly speaker and senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, he said that now the PTI members and its allied parties had come to know that the PTI’s plane was sinking due to which they were searching for new allies for the future elections.
Iqbal said there was nothing in the budget 2021-22 to control inflation and unemployment in the country. Inflation and unemployment would further increase due to the budget, he said.
He said that a ship that was containing 75 tons of hazardous material, which was denied permission by India and Bangladesh to berth, had been allowed to enter Pakistan at Gadani shipbreaking yard after taking money.
Earlier, he and other accused appeared before the Accountability Court-III judge, Syed Ashar Ali, in the NSCCP case.
The court marked attendance of all the accused and allowed them to leave.
The court recorded statement of prosecution witness, Azhar Ahmed, an official of the Pakistan Sport Board (PSB).
The witness, while recording his statement, told the court that he appeared before the NAB investigation officer (IO) on April 24, 2020, in connection with investigation of the NSCCP case and the IO recorded his statement.
The witness produced various documents before the court regarding the case.
The hearing of the case was adjourned till June 30, and the witness Ahmed will continue recording his statement during the next hearing.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021