Bilawal has no moral ground to question integrity of PTI govt’s functionaries: Shibli

ISLAMABAD, Jul 30 (APP): Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz on Thursday said Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had no moral ground to raise questions about the integrity of the PTI government functionaries.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and his family were hard working, honest and intelligent whereas the integrity of the family of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had been questioned many times, he said while addressing a press conference here

The minister said when the Sharif family was being grilled in the Panama Papers case, a petition was filed in the court for the trail of money spent on the Banni Gala residence, which was completely provided by Imran Khan.

He said Imran Khan earned the money during his playing days with sheer hard work and honesty though many cricketers were involved in malpractices. Imran provided all the proofs of transfer of money from abroad through legal channels and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was thankful to the opposition for providing that opportunity.

He said Imran Khan was perhaps the only leader, who remained involved in social work before joining the politics and took benefit of his popularity and international stature to serve the humanity. He was a role model for the new generation as he was working hard for the social and economic welfare of the country and its people, the minister added.

Shibli said Bilawal Bhutto, in his press conference, unsuccessfully tried to discredit Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had been declared by the courts as ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Amin’. Imran Khan’s family had taught him about honesty, hard work and the feelings for the poor but Bilawal had nothing to do with such values. Whether Bilawal had earned even a rupee by hard work or made any effort for the welfare of poor masses, he questioned.

He asked Bilawal to tell the nation about the millions of dollars stashed in the Swiss banks, how the Surrey Palace was purchased, how costly properties were bought in Karachi and how money laundering was done through Omni Bank.

The person living in the house of glass should not throw stones on others, he said, adding either Bilawal and his associates did not know the truth or they were covering up the truth by telling lies.

Shibli said Bilawal was launched in the politics to save the looted and plundered money of his family. Due to the policies and corruption of Bilawal’s relatives, the party of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had become a regional party, and with holding press conferences in Lahore or anywhere else, he could not revive it.

He advised that Bilawal could only revive the PPP if got rid of the legacy of corrupt leadership, which, however, was practically possible.

The PPP leadership should follow the example set by Prime Minister Imran Khan and ask their advisers in the Sindh government to declare their assets, he added.

The minister said the opposition parties had linked their support for the legislation related to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to 38 amendments proposed by them in the National Accountability Act. It was like an accused asking a judge to change the law for his relief, he added.

He categorically said Prime Minister Imran Khan would not be blackmailed by the opposition leaders, who would not get any NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) type concession at any cost. All the amendments proposed by the opposition to make NAB toothless would go in the dustbin, he added.

Shibli said accountability was the main point of PTI’s election manifesto and Imran Khan would not spare the corrupt persons irrespective of their political affiliations. The corrupt elements would not be let scot-free as accountability was vital for the country’s survival, he added.

Replying to the questions of media, the minister said the opposition tried to use legislation on anti-terrorism bill for bargaining on NAB Act amendments, but the PTI would not be blackmailed.

He said under the law of the land, there was no restriction on appointment of dual-nationals as advisers or special assistants to the prime minister.

Shibli said the money illegally sent abroad to purchase assets there should be returned. The PM’s special assistants had earned money before joining the politics and that money fell in another category.

He said now only those government advertisements, which were necessary, were being issued contrary to the past when the same were issued for the rulers’ personal projection. The present regime did not want to waste the public money on that count, he added.

He said a mechanism had been evolved for payment of outstanding dues of media houses. Due to some technical hitches all dues could not be paid, which, however, would be cleared after Eid positively.

Shibli FarazΒ  appealed to the masses to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) on Eidul Azha and avoid social gatherings as the coronavirus, which was in control to a great extent, might show a spike due to their carelessness like Eidul Fitr. The nation’s cooperation was essential for complete elimination of this global epidemic, he added.