GUJRANWALA - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Saturday the whole nation was still awaiting the response by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif to the 18 questions put by the government about his ‘money laundering’.            “The nation wants to know answers to these 18 questions about the money he laundered through cash boys, especially hired from his Model Town residence and office,” she said while talking to media persons here.

She regretted that (PML-N) spokesmen were trying to divert public attention from the issue by unduly criticising the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government just because of the grudge they held against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The SAPM said the nation wanted to know that how Shehbaz managed to transport abroad the cash bags from the Model Town residence and office, which were later received by the Sharif family through telegraphic transactions in Pakistan.

Dr Firdous said the PML-N spokesmen wanted to evaluate one-year performance of the PTI government, but they were not talking about those who remained in power generation by generation, plundered the national wealth for decades and put the national economy on ventilator.

She said the Sharif family’s corruption had been exposed, adding Shehbaz gave jobs to the cash boys at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat as a reward for facilitating in laundering money.

“It is a strange and horrible tale of corruption,” she remarked.

The SAPM said the questions as to why Nisar Gill and Ali Ahmed had been appointed on important positions, and what were his (Shehbaz) relations with Masroor Anwar and Shoaib Qamar appointed in the Good Nature Company would keep haunting Shehbaz.

She dared absconders of the Sharif family to face the courts in Pakistan and prove the corruption and money laundering allegations wrong.

Reminding that the prime minister had repeatedly promised to the nation that the looted national wealth would be brought back, Dr Firdous said the process of recovering the plundered money had started.

In an apparent reference to Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, she said an ‘immature’ politician from Sindh, whose party ‘commander in chief’ (Asif Ali Zardari) had been nominated in Benami Accounts and other corruption cases, was now pointing fingers at the PTI government.

“It is in the manifesto of PTI that looters and plunderers of the national wealth will not be spared,” she said, adding the PTI was working as per its agenda and succeeding in its mission in line with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The SAPM said the government was fully aware of the problems confronted by the general public and required measures were being taken to control the price hike. “The prime minister is committed to controlling price hike and ending unemployment from the country.”

Referring to the recently launched ‘Youth Entrepreneur Scheme’ by the prime minister, she said under the programme, the youth would be given business loans to make them self-reliant and useful members of the society.

To a question about a petition filed by Maryam Nawaz, seeking removal of her name from the Exit Control List (ECL), she hoped the court would decide the matter under the law and the constitution. “The government will be in a position to respond only when the court gives any verdict on the matter,” she said, adding that the government believed in uniform application of law. However, she said, Maryam wanted relief on the grounds that she wanted to take care of her father in England despite the fact that her brothers were also there to look after him.

About Asif Ali Zardari, she said he had submitted a bail application with the accountability court which would decide the matter, though the applicant was facing six references, 11 investigations and 20 inquiries.

However, she said, the government would abide by the court’s decision, as it believed in supremacy of the constitution and law.

To a question she said that the Punjab government was inaugurating various development projects which needed to be highlighted in the media.

She said that the development projects being inaugurated by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari could not have been completed if Prime Minister Imran Khan had not released funds. She asked Bilawal to thank Prime Minister Imran Khan for giving share to the Sindh government under the National Finance Commission to ensure province’s development.

She advised the Sindh government to launch corruption- free development projects in the province.

Responding to another question, she said Prime Minister Imran Khan had issued directives to all the police officers for taking strict action against the rapists, pedophiles and pornography. “The government will show zero tolerance on the said issues, and plans to legislate on them,” she disclosed.

She was of the view that such incidents could not be eliminated from the society unless an exemplary punishment was awarded to the culprits.  “We are going to introduce a law on child abuse in Punjab as the standing committee is vetting it. We desire the provincial assembly passes the bill as soon as possible,” she informed.

The SAPM strongly rejected a media report that Misbah-ul-Haq had been given the charge of dual offices on the recommendation of a renowned religious scholar, and added that all the decisions on cricket had been made purely on merit.

Dr Firdous said that the international cricket was returning to Pakistan, and hoped that 2020 would prove to be the best year for cricket in Pakistan. However, she said the government was taking measures to reform the basic infrastructure of cricket.