Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to see him behind the bars, by implicating him in cases “based on flimsy grounds”.
The Opposition Leader in the National Assembly chose not to take questions in his press conference at Model Town on Wednesday.
He made only one comment related to his elder brother, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, whose online speech at the Multi-Party Conference in Islamabad on Sunday, about the military establishment’s alleged role in the country’s politics, generated a lot of debate and controversy.
“We are standing with Nawaz Sharif for the progress of Pakistan,” Shehbaz Sharif said.
Former premier and the party’s senior vice-president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, as well as senior party leaders Rana Sanaullah and Marriyum Aurangzeb, were also present at the press conference.
“Imran Khan wants to see me in jail. I am ready to go to jail on his (Khan’s) wish.
“(Former chief justice of Pakistan) Saqib Nisar had opened the case of 56 companies (against me).
“Not a single rupee (worth of) corruption allegation was proved in any development project.
“I reiterate … hang me even after my death if corruption against me is established,” Shehbaz Sharif said, adding that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) were harassing people (in connection with the cases against him and his family members).
He warned: “We faced jail in the past, and we are not afraid. Things change suddenly, Imran Khan should not forget this.”
Sharif said that the people have become disappointed with the incumbent government after two years.
“(The) PM is busy in covering up wheat and sugar scandals. He did money laundering in the foreign funding cases. If the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) brings forth these facts, (the prime minister) cannot stay in his office for (even) a minute,” he said, adding that despite the passage of several months, the ECP had not decided on the issue.
“The NAB-Niazi (Prime Minister Khan) nexus has broken all record of instituting false cases against us,” the PML-N president alleged, and wondered as to how the foreign assets case of the prime minister’s sister Aleema Khan was “not being touched” as she was given amnesty to declare her assets.
“Imran also took advantage of the amnesty scheme,” he added.
Sharif asked why the Malam Jaba and helicopter issues were not being investigated.
“What happened to sugar and wheat scandals … the real culprits in these scandals are Imran and (Punjab Chief Minister) Usman Buzdar. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) proved that it sees faces and not cases,” he said. “If economic issues are not addressed, no one can stop its [country’s] destruction.”
Shehbaz Sharif, who was previously a chief minister of Punjab chief, said that his government saved billions for the country in development projects.
“We saved Rs1,000bn during our tenure in Punjab. Niazi made three allegations of corruption against me but could not prove a single one, rather running from courts in this regard,” he said.
In Rs100bn Peshawar BRT project, Sharif said that four buses had been torched so far, adding that metro projects of Punjab, Rawalpindi and Multan had been completed for the same amount of money.
“Massive corruption in the BRT project has been committed, but it was not being probed,” he said. “Two years on, this [Lahore] Orange Line train project is still pending. Billions of rupees were added to the cost because of the two years delay in the project.”
He said that Khan must remember that a reversal of fortunes could take place. “If the courts allow me, I will present irrefutable evidence [to show] how our families bore billions of rupees losses but did not compromise on principles.”
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