–Imran says Opp can hold protests or call APCs, they won’t evade accountability
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that no one from the opposition has approached him for an NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] and that the government will not make any compromises on the corruption cases against the opposition leaders.
The prime minister made these comments during a parliamentary meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) at the Parliament House in Islamabad that was called in to discuss the overall political situation and the strategy for getting the Finance Bill passed by the National Assembly.
Imran and his cabinet members have time and time again accused the opposition leaders of seeking an NRO and former president Asif Ali Zardari’s speech during the budget session was also dubbed the same.
However, the prime minister said that nobody had approached him for the NRO and even if they do, he won’t give any. He also referred to the All Parties Conference (APC) slated for June 26, saying the Opp could stage protests or hold APCs, there won’t be any compromises.
The government would respond to them only through performance, the prime minister added.
“NRO will not be granted, even if the opposition holds an all parties’ conference (APC) or runs a movement against the centre.”
Ever since the PTI came to power and stepped up the accountability drive against the opposition parties, the prime minister has time and again stated that he will not give anyone relief in cases pertaining to graft and embezzlement.
In a June 15 meeting at Bani Gala, the PM claimed that the arrested opposition leaders — PML-N’s Nawaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz and PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari — were asking [the government] for some kind of relief along the lines of NRO to evade the cases formed against them.
In Feb this year, Imran had categorically ruled out an NRO-like deal for the opposition leaders, particularly former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari, underscoring the need for across-the-board accountability.
According to the PM, NROs in past have destroyed the economy. He said the two NROs [in the past] had caused huge damage to Pakistan and sent the country into chronic financial woes.
“General (r) Pervez Musharraf gave NRO to Nawaz Sharif to save his own seat. A case was made against the Sharif brothers pertaining to the Hudaibiya Paper Mills and Ishaq Dar’s confessional statement regarding how money laundering was done was also present. However, to save his own seat, Musharraf gave Nawaz an NRO and let him leave for Saudi Arabia,” he had said.
However, every time the PM had claimed that the opposition was seeking relief from the government, the PPP and PML-N leaders rejected the claims and asked the PM to reveal the name of the person asking for NRO.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, on the floor of the National Assembly, had asked Imran to disclose the name of the NRO-seeker.
Referring to the premier’s comments, Shehbaz had said that Imran Khan did not have the authority to give an NRO, terming it “notorious relief order”.
“I want to ask, for the last time, because Imran Khan has repeatedly spoken about refusing ‘NRO’, who asked for it? Who was the witness?
“Tell the country, when and who asked him [PM Imran] for an NRO? Is there any witness? The country is very worried; Imran Khan says something but doesn’t give any evidence.
“I am saying this for the last time on the floor of the house: please tell this country who asked for an NRO, when did they ask and who is the witness.”
ECONOMY IS SAFE:
PM Imran also expressed satisfaction over the state of economy in the country. “The government has determined the economic direction and Pakistan is coming out of the financial crisis.”
Imran, whose amnesty scheme has received a lacklustre response from the public, also urged his party lawmakers for awareness campaign so that more and more people declare their assets and enter the tax fold.
The prime minister also directed that all members should ensure they are present in the House as getting the budget passed was a legal requirement. He said an increase has been made in the development budget for Balochistan and tribal areas, reports added.
Meanwhile, PTI leader and Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting Chairman Faisal Javed said opposition parties would not get an NRO unless they “returned the looted money”.
Talking to media persons outside Parliament House, he said that the opposition parties, PPP and PML-N, had only one point agenda to save their money amassed through the corruption.