LAHORE: Minister for Interior, Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said on Saturday that an influential figure was pressurising the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the matter of Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.
Addressing a press conference here along with Minister for Privatization Danyal Aziz and former information minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Ahsan Iqbal said they accepted the verdict of the Supreme Court despite serious reservations. He said history would interpret judgments against Nawaz Sharif quite differently. He said it seems as if some institutions were undermining parliament and transgressing their limits.
The minister said that according to media reports, some influential persons had forced NAB to open the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case and Chief Justice of Pakistan should take notice of it. He said influential people called the NAB and asked if the appeal regarding the Hudaibiya case will be carried out or not. He said it had been said in the media that there was an office from where NAB and all others were being manipulated.
“It is hoped that the Chief Justice of Supreme Court will take notice of the reports for the sake of fair trial and to fulfil the requirements of justice,” he added. Ahsan Iqbal said that summoning the NAB officers by an influential person and issuing them instructions was against the requirements of justice.
“We have also asked institutions to inquire the matter and investigate the reality of these reports,” the minister said. He said Nawaz Sharif brought progress and prosperity in Pakistan. He said projects of Kachhi Canal and Lowari Tunnel had been completed on priority basis.
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Ahsan Iqbal said due to prudent policies of the incumbent government, peace has been restored in Karachi and Balochistan. He said development projects of billions of rupees were underway in Balochistan. He said that today’s Pakistan is more secure, peaceful and economically stable as compared to the past.
Ahsan Iqbal thanked international cricketers for participating in the Independence Cup. He congratulated the Punjab government for successful arrangements of the event. He said the Independence Cup pictured positive image of Pakistan before the world community. The minister said a star studded Independence Cup tournament projected a positive and soft image of the country at the international level. He said the successful Pakistan Super League (PSL) final was the impetus behind the international players’ motivation to come to Pakistan. He congratulated the area residents over security arrangements and said that soon Karachi will also get security clearance to hold international matches.
Ahsan Iqbal said the incumbent government had generated and added more than 10,000 megawatts electricity to national grid during the last four years. He said there was a significant decrease in power loadshedding and menace of terrorism has been curbed during the tenure of PML-N government. He said in the past, there was loadshedding of 20 hours a day, but today electricity comes for 20 hours in a day, adding that the issue of outages will be completely overcome by next year.
To a question, he said history will interpret the decision of disqualification of Nawaz Sharif in a different manner. “We accepted the decision of the apex court although we have reservations on it,” he said. He said that according to Constitution, fair trial is the right of every citizen. He said three generations of the Sharif family have presented them for accountability. He added that the PML-N does not need any certificate of economic achievement from the PTI and the opposition.
He said the enemies of progress and development of the country were annoyed with economic growth. The minister said strengths of countries are measured according to economic stability in the world and Pakistan had achieved the highest growth rate target in previous year.
Ahsan Iqbal said historical tourism activity has been recorded in the country this year. The minister said that promotion of tourism showed people’s confidence in the government.
Ahsan Iqbal said that parliament is not orphans’ home, adding that it is the centre of the aspirations of 200 million people. He said parliament is the mother of law. He said it seems as if parliament is being undermined and some other institutions are trying to transgress their limits. “We have concerns about it. These issues will be discussed in parliament and consultations will also be held with the parliamentary leaders over the matter,” he said.
The minister made it clear that the PML-N was united under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif. He also taunted the rivals, saying that some people always spread hopelessness. He said that Nawaz Sharif’s political stature was getting taller with each and every excess being committed against him.
Regarding the NA-120 by-election, he said that Lahore would give a verdict which would be according to its traditions.
Meanwhile, the PTI Spokesman, Fawad Chaudhry, severely criticised Ahsan Iqbal on what he called his negative remarks against the country’s top institutions.
“Ahsan Iqbal’s statement against the country’s top institutions, including apex court and national security departments, is absolutely regretful and condemnable,” he stated in response to Ahsan Iqbal’s press conference.
He advised the minister to stop lamenting and call back the sons of Nawaz Sharif from abroad and present them before the NAB.