ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz has said that an individual who deceived the system and courts is making sermons through media.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, the minister said that Sharif Family built billions of rupees assets abroad and they instead of beating about the bush should inform the courts about their means of income for purchasing these assets. He said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is criticizing state institutions only to protect his assets made through corruption. He said it is unfortunate that a three-time prime minister of the country is making anti-state speeches.

He urged the former prime minister to give answer about his assets abroad and how he laundered money out of the country, instead of fanning controversies in the country.

He said Nawaz Sharif is an offender and inciting public for anarchy and chaos through his speeches.

The information minister said that the former prime minister should surrender before the court and inform about his assets.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has provided his money trail in the court.

The minister said the people of Pakistan gave three chances to Nawaz Sharif to rule Pakistan, but he allegedly ruined the country’s economy and its institutions. He said former rulers wasted 23 billion dollars to artificially control the dollar value.

Shibli Faraz said the government and the judiciary, while showing sympathy, had allowed Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for medical treatment, but in response the former prime minister is busy in weakening the country.

Regarding Nawaz Sharif’s allegations of rigging in the last general elections, the information minister said they are professional liars.

He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had launched a movement and demanded opening of four constituencies in general elections 2013. He said around 487 election petitions were filed by various political parties, while majority of them was submitted by the PTI.

The minister said in 2018 elections, 287 election petitions were filed and 90 of them were about National Assembly constituencies. He said 45 of those 90 petitions were filed by PTI, where our candidates had lost elections with a margin of 50 to 2000 votes.

He said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz considers Punjab its stronghold, where total election petitions were 13 and 11 of them belonged to PML-N.

He said what an irony it is that after the lapse of two years, Nawaz Sharif is now talking of rigging.

The minister said they should have followed the due process instead of maligning the entire election proceedings.

He also said Nawaz is misleading the people of Pakistan and he will not succeed in his nefarious designs. He said the government is determined to go after the corrupt, come what may.

Speaking about the government’s efforts to reduce inflation, Syed Shibli Faraz said there is sufficient stocks of wheat and sugar in the country. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan is very concerned about availability of essential items.

He said the government is working on evolving a strategy to ensure availability of essential items like flour, sugar, ghee, pulses, and other things at affordable rates to the general public.

To a question, the minister said that coronavirus has affected economies all over the world and amidst this challenging scenario the government is ensuring availability of food and commodities in the country.

He said that political stability is must to invite foreign investments in the country. He said that any bid to put image of state institutions at stake will not be tolerated.