Mr Khan’s expenses

Ch Fawad’s statement fraught with irony

In view of the PTI’s dismal record of pursuing cases in court, confidence is not generated by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s announcement that a defamation suit would be filed against Justice (retd.) Wajihuddin Ahmed, the former PTI stalwart, for claiming that the expenses of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Bani Gala residence, of Rs 500,000 a month, were met by estranged party leader Jahangir Khan Tareen. Ever since Mr Ahmad made the claim on Tuesday, there has been a constant buzz about the claim, even though Mr Tarin has denied it categorically. Mr Chaudhry said that channels telecasting the news without confirmation would also face cases, though he did not make it clear whether there could be criminal prosecution, in addition to the civil suits.

Mr Chaudhry did not mention whether any action would be taken against those officials, who had announced, without any confirmation as court conviction provides, that opposition figures were guilty of corruption. Mr Chaudhry should be aware that his vouching for Mr Khan’s honesty, while it may earn a few brownie points from his boss, was not very convincing. His saying that Mr Khan had not looted the national exchequer might be true, but misses the point that is not what he is supposed to have done. He has alleged to have regularly received money from someone who is supposedly a leading member of the sugar mafia which caused a precipitous rise in the price of the commodity. Mr Khan has often said when the government makes bad economic decision, that is a sign of corruption. Certain decisions enabled the sugar mafia, Mr Tarin among them, to make a pile. Mr Ahmad has pointed out a smoking gun, which links Mr Khan even more closely to the sugar mafia than merely Mr Taren using his private plane to deliver independent MNAs for the formation of the PTI government.

Mr Chaudhry, Mr Khan and anyone in the PTI have every right to approach the courts, but should also recognize that others too have a right to do so. However, there should be also be a recognition that, just as Mr Khan’s emotions have been hurt by an unfair accusation, so would all those his government has made them appear before the NAB, the sole evidence against them being a PTI claim.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected].

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