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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said the main objective of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s protest outside the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to blackmail it and influence its decision in the foreign funding case.

Talking to reporters outside the Accountability Court, he alleged the former premier “wanted to impose the politics of German dictator Adolf Hitler”, in Pakistan, who also attacked his opponents through mob and state institutions of Germany to grab power. “Today, Khan also through his group of Jiyalas is attacking institutions to stop proceedings of cases against him,” he said, adding if you (Khan)- have done nothing wrong, why are you trying to create hurdles in the proceedings of the foreign funding case.

He further said the purpose of attacking the ECP was to blackmail it and influence its decisions.

However, he hoped that “our state institutions will not bow to pressure of the PTI protest and will decide cases as per law and the Constitution.”

Iqbal said Khan was also trying to escape accountability in the Toshakhana case and a host of other scandals which implicate members of his inner circle.

“In Pakistan’s history no prime minister has come to power who have sold gifts of brethren countries in markets,” he said.

He said the government is working hard to provide relief to the people.

Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metro bus extension project that remained stalled for last four years “was completed within few days” and that was a proof of competence of the present government, he said.

The minister said that Khan as a result of his “negative and sadist” approach destroyed the country’s economy, foreign policy, international standing, and put relations with economic stakeholders under great strain. Khan also soured relations with the US, China, and Europe, he said. He said that “Niazi carried a begging bowl”, hoping for a phone call from the US president.

Regarding conspiracy, as claimed by Khan, to remove the former prime minister from office, Iqbal recalled how Imran used to pray that the opposition would move a vote of no confidence in the assembly against him. When we finally movedthe vote of no-trust in the house, he said that his prayers had been answered and that he will take three wickets on one ball. Iqbal said that the opposition uprooted Imran’s middle stump. “You –Khan- started calling the vote, a US conspiracy.” Today, former ambassador to the US, state institutions, and the whole country are telling a lie while “Mr U-turn” is telling the truth, he questioned.

He said President Arif Alvi was behaving like a PTI “Jiyala”. He was not performing his constitutional role, Iqbal said.

Earlier, he and the other accused appeared before Accountability Court-III judge Syed Asghar Ali in Narowal Sport City Complex Project (NSCCP) case.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor Wasim Javed and Zulfiqar Naqvi’s associate Malik Mudassar and Chaudhry Sajid, counsel for Ahsan Iqbal as well as counsel for the accused contractor Muhammad Ahmad (late) appeared before the court.

During the hearing, the court was informed that the accused Muhammad Ahmad contractor has passed away.

At this, the court directed investigation officer (IO) of the case to submit a report on the death of the accused Muhammad Ahmad. The court adjourned hearing of the case due to non-availability of prosecution witness Mohsin Raza Jafferi and Izhar till May 18.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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