Naqvi was dragged into NAB’s plea bargain case: Khwaja Asif

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif on Monday defended caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi and said that the allegations of plea bargain against the interim Punjab chief minister were fabricated.

“Naqvi’s name was dragged into an issue of NAB plea bargain but the fact was he had taken some loan from the accused in Haris Steel Mill Case in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB),” said the minister while addressing a press conference here.

“Naqvi provided a cheque with a letter during the probe and returned the loan to the accused. A few news articles erroneously reported it as a matter of plea bargain whereas one letter could not be considered as a plea bargain. And, if he has done anything illegal then we are not going to defend him,” he added.

The Minister said Naqvi was the coalition government’s nominee and it was his right to defend him. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), he said it was propitious to have a unanimous nomination for KP interim Chief Minister.

He said Imran Khan was heading gradually towards a complete political failure as all his decisions were proving wrong and miscalculated.

Addressing a news conference here, the minister responded to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s objections and criticism on the appointment of Mohsin Raza Naqvi as interim Chief Minister Punjab and revocation of their resignations from the National Assembly.

Asif in the prologue of his media briefing congratulated the interim chief minister for assuming his new responsibilities. He wished that under his leadership free and fair elections would be held in Punjab.

He also welcomed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s decision being taken as per law and said that the entire process was done according to the constitution. The minister clarified that the nominees presented by PTI and others did not have good exercise as one the nominee a serving government employee and the other was a dual national.

“Their vetting was not good for these nominees. So that’s why they had to face humiliation in this case,” he added. Moreover, the government’s nominees had one ex-civil servant and one media personality, he said, adding, “PTI also gave the name of another honourable bureaucrat who himself apologised to take the task. Hence the PTI’s objection on Naqvi’s appointment is a fake cry.”

Berating former Chief Minister Punjab, Asif said, “However, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and PTI had most of the objections. Elahi at this age has gone against all his relatives and may God bless him with a long life. He has gone against his eldest brother Chaudhry Shujaat, and Naqvi is his son-in-law in relations. He must do efforts to unite them.”

Commenting on the National Assembly (NA) situation, he said the PTI tendered resignations at the NA after hurling abuses on the Assembly and used foul language against the Parliament which was known to all. “Imran Khan used indecent language against the NA and now they all want to return to the same platform. They (PTI) are demanding justice from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) whom they rebuked indiscriminately.”


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