ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Fridous Ashiq Awan on Wednesday said that Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif was still an accused in the Ashiana-e-Iqbal Housing Scheme scandal as he had been granted bail by the court and not acquitted. He had lied to the nation from London by claiming his ‘innocence’ as ironically the Supreme Court was hearing his bail application, she said while addressing the media here outside the Parliament House.

As Shehbaz’s case was under trial in the accountability court, so he would remain an accused till it was decided, she added. “You have been granted bail and not a certificate of innocence in this case,” Dr Firdous said. She said that Prime Minister Imran Khan took a pride in belonging to the Niazi tribe. Mian brothers should now tell the nation about their bloodline as “otherwise I will have to unveil the truth”, she added. She said that the government was working to materialise the Prime Minister’s vision of an across the board accountability and the rule of law in the country.

She said  that the sitting Punjab Ministers were facing false corruption cases and were under the custody of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which reflected the Prime Minister’s policy on accountability without discrimination. She said that in the London Press talk,  the Opposition leader portrayed himself as a pious man but when NAB grabbed his properties the other day, he did not say a single word about that case against him. He should have informed the nation about his son, son-in-law, nephews and other family members stay in London and when they would return to the country.

The nation wanted to hear a word about the health of Mian Nawaz Sharif but the Opposition leader did not say a word about that, she added.

She said that on the request of Opposition it was decided in the Parliamentary Committee for the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce their names at once in one week time.  On one hand, the Opposition sought a one-week time for consensus and on the other they approached the Supreme Court to seek interpretation of Article 213-A, she added. “The honorable courts are giving respect to the Parliament and referring the matter of national importance to the Parliament whereas the Opposition time and again is seeking indulgence of the Supreme Court in matter of national importance,” she added.

She said that the government did not want the Election Commission of Pakistan dysfunctional and went to the extent to create consensus on the appointment of its member from Balochistan but the Opposition deliberately pended his name for one week.

She said that the Prime Minister promised the nation to bring back the looted wealth of the country and the process started yesterday when the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) announced on its website that Rs 38.50 billion recovered from a Pakistani family and returned to Pakistan.

The country was kept plundered for 72 years but nobody dared in the past to bring back the looted money and the credit went to Prime Minister Imran Khan for doing that service to the country, she added. The government, she said, would keep exposing the faces of Opposition and continue to bring back the looted money to Pakistan.