LAHORE: Slamming the PTI-led government for targeting the opponents through fake cases, former prime minister and PML-N senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Tuesday that the government claims that it was not involved in pursuing the money laundering case against Shehbaz in NCA, had been totally exposed.
Talking to media here at the PML-N Secretariat, Abbasi who was flanked by Rana Sanaullah, Ahsan Iqbal, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Attaullah Tarar, said the PTI government had embarrassed itself before the world with the British National Crime Agency (NCA)'s probe against PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif. He said that the Assets Recovery Unit (ARU) and even Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials used to go to London to meet NCA officials.
The PML-N leader maintained that the standard set by this government is totally unique, as "the prime minister creates in his own office an Asset Recovery Unit (ARU), which has no legal basis". What has that ARU done, he questioned.
The former PM alleged that Barrister Zia Nasim used ARU letter pad and referred the case to the NCA at the UK court. He also mentioned about the ministers and advisors who made allegations in news conferences about money laundering by Shehbaz Sharif.
Referring to the NCA probe against the PML-N president and his son Suleman, the PML-N senior leader said that normally in money laundering cases, financial transactions of only six years back were traced. In this case, however, the probe stretched to cover financial transactions covering a period of over 20 years, this inquiry was also not limited to just one country; it took place in Pakistan, the UK and the UAE. He said that money sent by Shehbaz from Pakistan to his UK bank account was legal money. Shehbaz and Suleman had both given their consent to the NCA to probe their accounts. "Time and again, the NCA told the court that it has the complete support and cooperation of the Pakistani government and its agencies," he said.
Abbasi alleged that the NAB Lahore DG, the ARU, FIA and other agencies were involved in framing allegations against the PML-N president. "And now, the Prime Minister of this country says his government had nothing to do with the probe," he astonished. "Now what is the fate of the cases against Shehbaz," he said.
PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal termed the current regime as fake, which is being run on the basis of 'fake news and fake allegations.' He maintained that the government could not, till this day, find evidence against former Prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's involvement in any cases of corruption. Not a single case was established against Shehbaz Sharif, he added. "Each case has slammed shut on their faces; in development projects of Rs 3,200 billion even corruption of Rs 32 was not unearthed," he said. He alleged that the government is busy registering fake cases against the Opposition. "However, your failure is becoming a matter of life and death for the public," he said.
The PML-N leader said the government itself was inviting trouble from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), as the Prime Minister was repeatedly saying at international forums that political leaders in the country are involved in money laundering. "This he does only to promote his politics of hatred and revenge," he said.
Ahsan Iqbal said that the UK was provided with fake allegations, it has been four years but not a single penny of corruption has been proved against Nawaz Sharif.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021