ISLAMABAD, May 20 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb Friday said Hamza Shehbaz would continue as Punjab chief minister as deseating of the PTI’s 25 dissident members of the provincial assembly had no effect on the coalition government led by him.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and its allied parties still enjoyed a comfortable majority in the Punjab Assembly, she said while addressing a press conference along with PPP’s Central Secretary Information Faisal Karim Kundi.
The minister said the strength of PML-N and its allies in Punjab now stood at 177, whereas the PTI and allied parties had the support of only 172 assembly members.
Instead of celebrating the deseating of MPAs, Imran Khan and other PTI leaders should better observe mourning.
“Today is the day of mourning for Imran Khan, not of rejoicing,” she said while reminding him that 25 MPAs had left his party, owing to his corruption scandals related to wheat, sugar and medicine, besides economic disaster and extreme inflation caused by his four-year government.
She said deseating of 25 MPAs were in fact “25 slaps” on the face of the PTI Chairman Imran Khan as they stood against his misrule and they had the right to do so.
The minister said the dissident MPAs voted against the party in broad daylight as they had rejected the anti-people policies of PTI regime.
She said that during the past four years of PTI rule, the masses faced unemployment, inflation and corruption. The people of Punjab were the worst victims of PTI rule as there was only a dummy chief minister while real powers rested with Imran’s front person Farah Gogi.
She made it clear that the PTI had not given any instructions to the 25 MPAs regarding voting for the chief minister’s election in Punjab.
However, she demanded the ECP to give a decision on the foreign funding case of PTI. which had been pending for the last eight years. at the earliest.
She said Imran Khan, who was imposed on the country for four years, did money laundering through foreign funding. Illegal funding was received in the name of donations and flood aid and that too in those banks’ accounts which were not declared.
She asked under whose pressure the decision on foreign funding was being delayed when there were clear decisions of the court in that regard.
On every hearing of the foreign funding case, she said the ECP was attacked and abused and the resignation of the Chief Election Commissioner was demanded.
If the verdict the PTI members’ defection could be given in one month, then keeping this speed in the view, the decision on the foreign funding case, pending for the last eight years, should be given in one day, she maintained.
There were the orders of the court for day-to-day hearing of the PTI foreign funding case, she said adding till to date, the PTI and Imran Khan did not submit any record in the ECP on its foreign funding. When they [PTI leaders] were questioned on the foreign funding of their party, the minister said they asked for scrutiny of other parties’ accounts instead, which was a strange logic.
She said the PTI leaders with the signature of Imran Khan transferred illegal foreign funding into the accounts of their servants and did not bother to bring it on record. All those illegal tactics adopted by the party leaders were reported by the SBP to the ECP, she added.
Marriyum said the record of PTI foreign funding submitted by the SBP to the ECP on the petition of Akbar S Babar had already declared Imran as a money launderer and convict of foreign funding.
“We do hope that the decision on the PTI foreign funding will come in a day,” she said, hoping that the entire party, which received undeclared and illegal foreign funding in the name of donations and floods aid, would be banned.
“If someone needs to be disqualified, it is Imran Khan who did corruption, increased inflation and filled the pockets of cartels and mafias during his rule. We have given records of four decades, now you (Imran) should give answer to the people for your corruption through Farah Gogi,” she said.
The minister stated that the deseating of PTI members had further weakened Imran’s party who did not bother to listen to the dissenting voices in the assemblies because he was busy in filling the pockets of cartels and mafias.
She regretted that the spokespersons, whose only job and objective was to tell lies persistently, had started to claim falsely that the present government had come to an end.
Imran should understand that the defection of his party members had exposed his government’s performance which was based on corruption, loot and plunder, she said.
She said despite losing the majority in the National Assembly, Imran Khan tried to cling to power and the PTI persons at high posts like the speaker, deputy speaker, governor etc behaved in an unconstitutional manner.
The no-confidence motion was a constitutional way of getting rid of an incompetent and inefficient regime, she said, adding those who voted against Imran Khan knew that the government had deprived the poor people of affordable eatables by causing extreme inflation.
The minister said it was high time for Imran to introspect on his ruthless corruption and bad governance during his rather imposed rule which caused massive unemployment and extreme inflation in the country.
“For bad governance and incompetency of the PTI government, dissenting voices were raised by its coalition partners in the National Assembly who had later thrown Imran out of the Parliament by entering in an alliance with the PML-N and other opposition parties”, she added.
“Likewise, you were thrown out of the Punjab Assembly. In whichever Assembly, there will be a no-confidence motion, you will be expelled from there,” she said adding that the no-confidence motion was a constitutional way of removing the government of Imran Khan who was removed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution which was brazenly violated by him and his cronies in the high posts.
The minister said that despite the worst ever victimization and so-called accountability of the PML-N leadership, the party stood united and not a single member parted ways as they had faith in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif.
Before speaking about Maryam Nawaz, she said, Imran should know that she was not afraid of anybody except Allah Almighty. “Make no mistake, she is not a weak woman and knows how to give response to a person like you [Imran} and perhaps, has already given a response in Sargodha.”
Marriyum said Imran only responded on Farah Gogi who was his “benami”, but failed to give any answer on his corruption of wheat flour, sugar and medicines.
Imran must answer to the public on gagging the media, destroying the country and violating the Constitution, she added.
To a query, she said as per the state structure, the Federal Government had the authority to appoint competent and capable officers in the departments.
She said the people had witnessed as to how Imran had influenced the state institutions for political victimization of his opponents.
Citing the case of Rana Sanaullah, she said a judge was transferred during a break time as it appeared that the PML-N leader might get bail.
She said Shehzad Akbar, being the head of the Asset Recovery Unit, used to order arrests of the political leaders from the NAB office and he monitored the facilities being provided to the opponents in the death cells.
The former head of FIA Bashir Memon had said in an interview that he was removed from his office after he refused to file false cases against Imran’s opponents, she noted.
She said the PML-N did not believe in attacking the state institutions, nor got any instructions from the top leadership for maligning them.
It was the hallmark of the PTI policy under which its leader dictated their party spokespersons and social media handlers to run a smear campaign against the state institutions, she opined.
The SBP record on foreign funding was not rebutted so far by the PTI leadership, so it was the responsibility of the ECP to decide the matter as soon as possible, she said while responding to another query.
She said the elections would be held when the PML-N and its coalition partners in the government would want.
The minister also rejected the notion of any conflict within the PML-N, saying there was no truth in such reports.
She said Imran was thrown out of the National Assembly in a democratic way and in the next election he would be expelled from the national politics by the people of Pakistan with the power of their vote for the scorecard of PTI’s bad performance.
She condemned a firing incident in Karachi where reportedly three persons were killed. Imran, out of his ego, never bothered to coordinate with the provinces on the major issues including terrorism, polio and others.
On the contrary, the minister said Shehbaz was coordinating with the provinces to resolve the major problems pertaining to terrorism, inflation, health and other issues as for him the national interest was supreme.