LAHORE - Known for issuing senseless statements quite seriously, Pakistan People’s Party leader Raja Riaz has taken a swipe at Sharifs for, what he called, harming democracy.

“People are showing mirror to Shahbaz Sharif over violating democratic norms by avoiding appearance in the Punjab Assembly and holding more than dozen departments under his command,” Raja said in his statement on Wednesday.

Dubbing Shahbaz’ criticism as ‘skewed thinking’ of the former Punjab chief minister, the PPP leader claimed his party strengthened the state institutions.

“President Asif Ali Zardari voluntarily handed over his powers to Parliament, Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani rarely missed the Parliamentary proceedings, record legislations were made, the 1973 Constitution was restored and the democratic assemblies completed term in the PPP regime,” he said.

Raja alleged the Sharifs forced former president Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf to impose the martial law, saying: “They (Sharifs) are instrumental to deprive the masses of democracy.”

“The Ehtisab Bureau was used by Sharifs for launching ‘witch-hunt’. Did the bureau curb corruption? Sharifs are defaulters of Rs3.48 billion in Hudabiya Paper Mills case and the confessional judicial statement of Ishaq Dar testified the allegations including their indulgence in money laundering. They should stop playing pantomime,” he went on.

He said the Sharif brothers were the owners of residential flats worth millions of pounds in Park Lane, London, the most expensive area of Central London for its closest proximity to Hyde Park.

He said Shahbaz wasted billions of rupees in the name of development projects like Metro Bus Service, Sasti Roti Scheme, Laptop distribution etc.

Moreover, Raja blamed loadshedding on Sharifs saying that they cancelled all the agreements struck by Benazir Bhutto with international investors to produce 24000MW.

“Had Nawaz Sharif not rescinded the agreements, Pakistan would have been exporting electricity to India because our total requirements even today stood around 17,000MW. The PPP government took another strategic decision despite international pressure when it inaugurated multi-billions dollars project of Pakistan-Iran Gas project.”