Saad says disqualification of politicians creates complexities
LAHORE: Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Monday questioned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Awami Muslim League Chairman Sheikh Rashid Ahmad regarding their sources of information about who to put on trial next in corruption cases.
Talking to journalists at Jati Umra, he said that Imran admitted to having offshore assets but was conveniently let go off by the court. He said that there was no JIT formed in former PTI secretary general Jahangir Tareen’s case which reflects a vivid bias. He said that he was personally against the disqualification of politicians because it creates complexities.
“Be it the disqualification of Yousuf Raza Gilani, Nawaz Sharif or Tareen, I am personally against the disqualification of the politicians. In Tareen’s case, there was no JIT formed, no references were taken into account and no monitoring judge was appointed,” he said.
“Another issue is of the foreign funding case of PTI. According to Justice Wajiuddin Ahmad who doesn’t champion PML-N politically either asked why it was not possible to go back five years in a case which clearly states that PTI violated the law and received external funding?”
“I wish to know the source that feeds Imran and Rashid on who to pick next? Does anyone tell them who next to chase into the accountability court? Where do they get these predictions from? Imran and Sheikh Rashid have to answer these questions,” he said on being asked about corruption charges against him.
Saad responded to Imran’s allegations on earning out of political office saying that he was not a billionaire and whatever he has is his hard earned money over decades. “I pay a hefty amount in taxes and if I have earned out of political office (in bonds) then its nothing exceptional,” he said.
He followed the comment with a question for the PTI chairman about his 310 kanal property and the source of his income. “What is the name of his business if he runs any,” he asked. On PML-N leaders drifting away from the party, Saad said that they were like seasonal ‘Siberian birds’, they shift with the flow of wind and that’s “how we take them.”
He said that the ones who are loyal to the party will stick through thick and thin. To a question, he said that the ‘witch-hunting’ of the Sharif family was being carried out in the name of accountability. “The country will only make progress if departments work within their limits,” he said.
He said that a well-thought conspiracy was being hatched against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. He said that they had been facing conspiracies for the last four years. He said Imran Khan was not acting like a political rival of the PML-N, rather his behaviour was like that of a ‘saukan’ (second wife). He levelled baseless allegations against the PML-N leadership during the Okara public meeting, he added.
Answering a question, the minister said the judiciary must not be abused. “We do not have any difference with the judiciary. No PML-N member can even think of criticising the Chief Justice of Pakistan,” he said. To another query, he said that the PML-N was not going to clash with the institutions but the ruling party stood firm to uphold the supremacy of the constitution.
Despite reservations, he said that Nawaz Sharif being a democratic leader had been appearing before the court of law. Saad stressed for unity among all political forces, saying it was imminent at this critical juncture. About the statement of Speaker Ayaz Sadiq regarding assemblies, he said, he gave the statement after keenly reviewing the current situation and his words carried weight.