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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal, on Wednesday, termed Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s statement with respect to absence of the PML-N president and opposition leader in the National Assembly during the passage of Finance Bill 2021-2022 as childish.

Talking to reporters after appearing before the Accountability Court in the Narowal Sport City Complex Project (NSCCP) case, he said that as per Bilawal’s age he can make such kind of statement but being a chairman of a party, he should avoid issuing such a statement.

Shehbaz Sharif did not attend the assembly session due to the death of his cousin, Tariq Sharif.

“The opposition’s job was to point out shortcoming and flaws in the budget and we fulfilled our job,” he said, adding that the opposition have compelled the government to take back taxes worth Rs 300 billion.

Iqbal said that the opposition cannot defeat the government budget in the absence of a clear majority.

Those who level allegations of friendly opposition against the PML-N must do soul-searching first, he said when he was asked there is an impression that the PML-N is doing friendly opposition.

To a question about continuous retaining of Pakistan on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list, he said that if the Prime Minister of Pakistan himself says that there is a lot of money laundering then what you expect from the FATF.

“PML-N after coming into power moved the country from FATF grey list to white list,” he said.

He further said that the present government has destroyed all institutions including the Higher Education Commission, Aviation, and Pakistan Railways.

These incompetents have no ability to run the government as they have made councilor level ministers, he said. Earlier, he and other accused appeared before Accountability Court-III Judge Syed Ashar Ali in the NSCCP case.

The court marked attendance of all the accused and allowed them to leave.

During the hearing, the defence counsel conducted partial cross-examination of prosecution witness, Azhar Ahmed, an official of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

To a question, the witness said 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. He also produced document before the IO.

The court adjourned hearing till July 14 and the defence counsel will continue cross-examination of the witness, Ahmed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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