LAHORE, May 24 (APP):Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that controversial audio-tape against the chairman National Accountability (NAB) was an attempt by the opposition to malign institutions and the government.
Talking to the media at an iftaar dinner at a local hotel Friday, she said after its failure to satisfy the courts in corruption, money laundering and corruption cases, the opposition had resorted to malign the chairman NAB through circulation of engineered audio-tapes in the media.
PPP Leader Zakriya Butt along with his companions announced to join the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) at the iftaar dinner. Special Assistant on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan welcomed Zakriya Butt to the PTI folds, adding that Zakriya Butt’s inclusion would strengthen the PTI at the grassroots level.
To a question, Firdous Ashiq Awan said the tape was fake and engineered with some ulterior motives, urging the NAB to defend and wind up the matter through its public relations (PR) department.
To another query, she said the opposition could not achieve its goals by maligning institutions through fake audio-tapes and dragging Prime Minister Imran Khan into irrelevant controversies.
The special assistant to the Prime Minister on Information said the opposition was a pack of ‘political orphans’ who had been trying to resurrect their ‘politically dead leaders’ through unfounded criticism against the government and Prime Minister Imran Khan. About the opposition, she said the opposition was divided and in a state of muddle. The statements of Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, Khawaja Asif and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi regarding NAB differed which reflected division in the opposition.
She said Khawaja Asif did not want others to interfere in his personal life but he had tried to intrude into that of the NAB chairman.
She said nobody could be allowed to compromise the interest and prestige of the national institutions. The prime minister had banned the appointment of people for private consultative process in the institutions.
To another question, Dr Firdous said as the government spokesperson, she stood by NAB. A criminal gang was involved in the dissemination of fake engineered audio-tape against the NAB chairman, which was being aired on the television channels.
Firdous said gone were the days when the powerful people dictated the institutions and hijacked the courts for issuing verdicts of their choice. Today the institutions were free and independent and the PTI government would stand by them if anyone pressurized to them for ulterior motives.
Earlier, the special assistant said the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan was making inroads into the economic crisis. The stability in the value of rupee and improvement in the stock exchange index were reflective of the fact that the economy was moving forward on the right path.
She said the masses should rest assured that the days of political self-projection were over. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) believed in the politics of serving the masses, she added.
Dr Firdous lambasted the opposition for their mud-slinging campaign against the prime minister, saying the political orphans were trying to make a career for themselves by criticizing Imran Khan but they would not succeed in their nefarious designs.
She hailed Zakriya Butt’s political career, whose presence, she said, would strengthen the PTI in Lahore. He would play his role in bridging party’s relations with the media, she added.
PTI leader Munir Ahmed Khan, Lahore Press Club President Arshad Ansari and a large number of journalists were present on the occasion.