LAHORE - Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid claimed on Saturday that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif doesn’t have even a single penny deposited out of Pakistan.
In an interview to The Nation, Nawa-i-Waqt and Waqt News here on Saturday, he said the prime minister had declared all his assets and record thereof is available with the Election Commission.
“In the present era nothing can be hidden from public eye.”
He said: “It’s rubbish that the prime minister has made investment in Britain, as alleged by PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan.”
The PPP leader had alleged recently that Mr Sharif was the Asian with third biggest investment in Britain. He had also said that unless the prime minister brought back his wealth to Pakistan, foreign investors would not think of investing their money in the Islamic Republic.
Asked which brand of parliamentary democracy is this in which all family members, relatives and friends of the prime minister are occupying all important government positions, the information minister said: In parliamentary system nobody can be deprived of his or her rights just for kinship with the head of government. They are elected by people. Even in USA, UK, India and several other countries members of the same family can be seen together holding important positions.
As for objection against the role of unelected Maryam Nawaz in the Rs 100 billion loan programme, the minister said the money is not at her disposal. “It’s with banks. She also gets no facility from the government in return for her services. She is only a brand manager.”
“Of the 180 million people of Pakistan is there none else who is eligible to hold the position bestowed on Maryam,” the minister was asked.
He said: “If somebody wants to do the job assigned to Maryam, the government would welcome him.”
Asked why the PML-N government did not get the Mehran Bank funds case investigated despite a clear order from the Supreme Court, the minister said there was no evidence against the prime minister. He recalled that even Younus Habib, the head of the bank, had confirmed in a statement that he had given no money to Mr Sharif.
When pointed out that Younus Habib was not a court, the minister said the government was not blocking investigation.
A number of political leaders, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, were accused of having received Mehran Bank funds through ISI to defeat the PPP in 1990 elections.
Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan had taken the matter to the Supreme Court. The court had ordered the FIA to investigate the matter. However, the PPP government did not give the FIA go-ahead on the plea that it doesn’t want Nawaz Sharif dragged by investigators.
The matter continues to be in the cold storage.
In response to a question, Mr Pervaiz Rashid said Imran Khan’s allegations against former CJP Iftikhar Chaudhry prompted Arsalan Iftikhar to speak against the PTI chairman. “There is an Arsalan for every Imran,” the minister chuckled, holding the PTI chief responsible for the on-going mud-slinging match.
In response to a question, the minister said the government had issued necessary instructions to the relevant authorities to issue NICOP and passport to the MQM chief.
“When the MQM leader gave time, he will be issued both the documents.”
He denied there were differences in the PML-N. People could have different points of views on issues but it could not be called grouping, he argued.