LAHORE - Opposition leader Syed Khurshid Shah on Monday said that NAB’s action in Punjab has provoked an outcry at the federal and the provincial level which was an indication that something was wrong in the biggest province.

“I don’t know the extent of corruption here in Punjab but some videos have surfaced involving Punjab ministers in corruption scandals”, he said while addressing a news conference at the residence of PPP’s central Punjab President Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo. He was accompanied by senior PPP leaders, Navid Ch, Mian Misbahur Rehman, Azizur Rehman Chan and others.

He said it was evident that NAB was being forced to stop investigation into the alleged corruption of PML-N ministers. “The federal and the provincial ministers have started raising hue and cry after the accountability bureau initiated probe into their alleged corruption”, he added.

Asked to comment on Punjab chief minister’s statement that he would resign if corruption of even a penny is proved in development projects, Shah said Shahbaz Sharif had also said so at the time of Model Town incident.

“When the first investigation report was about to be released, it was withheld because it proved involvement of the chief minister. Similarly, NAB is not being allowed to investigate the alleged corruption. If there is no investigation, there would be no resignation”, he observed.

To a question about Mustafa Kamal’s allegations against Altaf Hussain, he said that MQM had been establishment’s baby over the years. “General Zia nourished this organization like a baby and when it grew up it started showing muscles to its creators. It seems the creators are now annoyed with it”.

Besides criticizing the Orange Train and Islamabad Metro projects of the PML-N government, the opposition leader also raised questions over the transparency of the LNG deal with Qatar. He said that Parliament and the world oil companies were kept in the dark in the whole process.

“Had the government not kept it secret, many international oil processing companies would have jumped into the open bidding offering much lower rates to the government”, he maintained.

Shah further alleged that government had purchased LNG at a higher rate when its price was on the decline in the international market. “All LNG producing countries are worried about non-availability of buyers as 75 per cent of international buyers have stopped buying. The USA would purchase 60 per of total LNG while Japan’s share was 12 per cent. Now both these countries are not buying gas from the international market”, he revealed.
Answering a question about privatization of PIA and government’s move to pass the bill in a joint sitting of the parliament, the PPP leader said the Senate represented the federation, but the government was trying to bypass this institution. “The government will have to pay a heavy price for it”, he warned.

Earlier, a delegation of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) had a meeting with the opposition leader at the residence of PPP leader Mian Manzoor Wattoo. The PAT leaders invited Mr Shah to attend the proposed All Parties Conference on Model Town incident.