–Marriyum claims PML-N govt did not allow increase in sugar prices for five consecutive years
–Shahbaz Gill says there was ‘never a shortage of sugar in the country be it before the export or after’
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Wednesday said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government allowed the export of sugar at a time when there was a shortage of sugar in the country.
Addressing a press conference in reaction to the briefing by PM’s aide on accountability Shahzad Akbar, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said that with the given subsidy, the price of sugar spiked up from Rs80 to Rs90 in the country.
She lashed out at the incumbent government for conducting a “dubious and inept” inquiry in the sugar scandal, maintaining the party’s prior stance that the probe is incomplete until and unless Prime Minister Imran Khan appears before the commission and provide an explanation “for the hidden facts”.
“Imran Khan is the real culprit in the matter, hence, he should resign from his seat,” Aurangzeb said, adding that the premier was “deliberately not made part of the commission and inquiry as part of a scheme to throw dust in the eyes of people”.
“The report by the inquiry commission was made public because Imran Khan has to be saved,” she emphasised.
Referring to the PML-N tenure, Aurangzeb claimed that the party had not allowed sugar prices to rise for five consecutive years, asserting that “if anyone can put Pakistan on the path of development, it is only PML-N”.
Criticising the incumbent government for carrying out an “incomplete investigation” into the scandal, she said that the exporters made money in two ways “on the orders of the prime minister” and looted the people.
“On the one hand, exporters took advantage of the increase in dollar rate and on the other hand, they took advantage of the increase in sugar price in the country,” she said.
“After the report was out, we hoped that Shahzad Akbar would give us the news for Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s resignation but the real culprits in the case escaped from the back door,” she added.
Reiterating that the incumbent prime minister should appear before the commission, the PML-N spokesperson said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif also appeared before Joint Investigation Team (JIT) during his time as the prime minister.
“The government does not want to deal with either the coronavirus or the sinking economy of the country,” Aurangzeb said, adding that it “just wants to put PML-N leaders behind bars without legitimate reasons”.
The PML-N spokesperson went on to raise questions about the commission’s process of inquiry. She asked: “Why did the commission not call Khusro Bakhtiar and his brother in the mill case?”
Calling for dispensation of justice and adequate inquiry into the sugar case, Aurangzeb said that the decision makers are “intimidated by National Accountability Bureau (NAB)”.
Meanwhile, PML-N leader Rana Mashood said that even Supreme Court raised questions on the inquiry process employed by the asset inquiry unit which was headed by Akbar.
Saying that the present government has done nothing to uplift the country’s sinking economy, Mashood demanded that those who have harmed the national exchequer by giving subsidies without inquiry should be handcuffed immediately.
“Imran Khan has not yet been summoned for approving the subsidy,” he said, adding, that the working of the sugar commission is dubious, and “mud-slinging at the expense of the Sharif family was done deliberately” to divert attention from the real issues faced by Pakistan.
MEDICINE IMPORTED FROM LONDON:
The PML-N has been politicking since day one while Pakistan’s premier, institutions, and the public fight the novel coronavirus, PM’s Special Assistant on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill said later in the day.
Reacting to Marriyum Aurangzeb’s press conference, Gill said: “These are the people whose medicine for fever is imported from London.
“Marriyum Aurangzeb is right; the dilapidated health system their government left really does not have any strength.
“We’re taking steps for prevention from coronavirus to the best of our abilities and with the best intentions,” he added.
“The PML-N leaders are probably forgetting that he [PM Imran] is neither Shehbaz [Sharif] nor Nawaz [Sharif] that he would go to London to spend Eid,” the special assistant retorted.
“Imran Khan is here with the people in these difficult times and is reviewing the situation,” he added.
Aurangzeb should explain whether her party completely understood the sugar inquiry report, he added rhetorically, noting further that the PML-N is “often unable to comprehend reports written in English”.
Gill said no government in the past had so strongly cornered the sugar mafia and that there was “never a shortage of sugar in the country be it before the export or after”.
“The mini-Nawaz Sharifs present in the market hoard and speculate but Imran Khan is the one who will take these mini-Nawaz Sharifs to task,” he added.