KARACHI: An accountability court in Karachi on Wednesday indicted former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in a reference concerning illegal appointments to which he, along with the other accused, pleaded not guilty.
The move came as the reference holds Abbasi and former petroleum secretary Arshad Mirza responsible for allegedly appointing Sheikh Imranul Haq as managing director and Yaqoob Sattar as deputy managing director (finance) of the PSO by misusing their authority.
Talking to media persons outside the accountability court, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior vice-president remarked that he was thankful to the NAB for not accusing him of corruption involving billions of rupees as the only charge against him was of misusing his powers.
“At least tell us what our powers are,” he said and added that the Supreme Court (SC) had observed that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was doing political engineering only. “It is being used politically for harassing the people.”
“Our narrative is that the country should be run based on the Constitution and law,” Abbasi said about the PML-N’s party policy.
“Today is the day of expressing solidarity with the Kashmiris, and entire Pakistan should be united [on this occasion]. The people are united, but unfortunately, the government did not extend the hand of solidarity towards the opposition,” said Abbasi.
The senior PML-N leader said that Kashmir would remain in the hearts of the people of Pakistan. “There are no two opinions on that. The tragedy is we are busy in tweeting instead of solving the problems,” he noted.
About the continuing issue of power outages in Karachi, Abbasi said that there was no excuse for load-shedding in the port city. The power supply was available in entire Pakistan except Karachi, he added.
“After all what is the reason that the people of Karachi are not getting electricity,” he asked and then cited the “government’s corruption” as the cause.
The former prime minister also talked about the flour and sugar shortage in the country. “How those who cannot manage the federal government would run Sindh? How those who cannot manage their ministry will manage the Sindh government?” he posed the questions.
Abbasi, however, said the doors for dialogue would never be closed in politics, but added that he mistrusts the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s ministers.