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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice president and former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, on Tuesday, said the government was standing on crutches and it would not stay for a single day as soon as it lost the support of the Establishment.

Talking to reporters after appearing before Accountability Court in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case, he said the day when support would be withdrawn from the government, it would not stay for a single day. “The government is standing on crutches and now it should be removed to flourish democracy in the country,” he said.

He said the chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the courts were quiet regarding different scandals that had surfaced during the government. “Today, it was mandatory for the judiciary to restore the confidence of the public,” he said, adding the country where public lost confidence in judiciary then the system could not run.

Abbasi said that vote of no-confidence could be moved in a country where system ran according to the law and the constitution but unfortunately, “our system was not being run according to the constitution and the law.”

To a query about consultation on appointment of new NAB chairman, he said the president had written a letter to the opposition leader for appointment of chairman NAB and the opposition would respond to the letter. To a question about departure of former speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to London, he said he had no knowledge of Sadiq’s visit.

Responding to a question about the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), he said “the SBP was not in the control of the government. Stock Exchange has crashed and today’s market is in the same position where it stands on May 31, 2018.” He said that the rate of dollar had increased by 75 percent.

He said the government had increased electricity price by Rs4.74 per unit, which would further increase inflation in the country. “Prime Minister Imran has announced a “good news” to the nation that inflation had also increased in the United States of America (USA)”, he said, adding that “we are not living in America, we are living in Pakistan.”

Abbasi said that in the USA, the price of daily use commodities increased by two percent, while in Pakistan it increased by upto 17 percent. Per capita income in the USA is above $20,000, while in Pakistan per capita income is less than $2,000, he said. “The rulers who do not care about their people, neither have the right to live here nor they had the right to be in power,” he said.

Earlier, he and other accused appeared before Accountability Court-II Judge, Muhammad Azam Khan, in LNG case against him and others. During the hearing, defence counsel Dr Yaser Aman Khan told the court that the court had sought a detailed reply from the NAB regarding the guideline by the bureau with respect to recently-promulgated ordinances but so far, no reply has been submitted by the anti-graft body. Failure to submit a reply, following court orders becomes a matter of contempt of court, he further said.

NAB prosecutor, Usman Mirza, told the court that the NAB headquarters and the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had not issued instruction in this regard. The court had written a letter to the chairman NAB, which was still under process, he said, adding the court had directly written a letter to the chairman NAB and would give its reply. He said if the court did not receive any reply of its letter and then write again.

On this, the defence counsel said the NAB was trying to divide court regarding that matter. The prosecutor said it was the NAB’s internal matter and defence couldnot interfere in it. He said if the defence counsel had any objection over the court proceedings then he should file an application before it. During the hearing, prosecution witness Farhan Umer was crossed examined. The council will continue the cross examination on the next hearing to be held on December 21.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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