ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb here Wednesday rubbished the allegation by Imran Khan that he was offered Rs 10 billion for keeping silent on the Panama issue.
“This allegation is the continuation of his irresistible propensity to hurl unsubstantiated allegations against his political opponents and state institutions which has been the hallmark of his politics during the last four years. It is nothing more than the convulsions of a lunatic suffering from the syndrome of hallucination,” she said addressing a press conference.
She said that if Imran had even an iota of moral courage left in him he should come forward with the details surrounding his allegation like who, when and where made this offer to him.
The minister questioned as to why he did not make this revelation when he was presenting the wrapping papers for pease-meal pastries in the SC during the hearing of the case? Marriyum observed that the PML (N) government did not need to keep him silent as he was himself damaging his image through his loose-cannon like tongue-wagging.
The minister said that Imran had an unenviable record of denigrating and pressurizing the state institutions to get the verdicts in his favour and had invariably been hurling abuses at those institutions when they did not deliver the verdict in his favour. Similarly he has indulged in shameless character assassination of his political opponents and whoever did not fall in line with his world view of the prevailing situation, she added.
Marriyum said the victims of his virulent flak included former Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Wajihuddin and the former Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ibrahim among others.
She said that Imran was pursuing a well thought out strategy to ridicule and malign the state institutions and to keep them under pressure to achieve his political objectives but it was regrettable that those institutions had never bothered to hold him accountable for his culpable indiscretions.
Marriyum said that Imran had been very harsh on the ECP accusing it of being in league with the government, challenging its jurisdiction to ask him about the foreign funding and even committing contempt by not responding to its repeated notices.
Similarly in the wake of the SC decision in the Panama case he is openly defying the verdict by expressing doubts about the efficacy of JIT and making hullaballoo about the dissenting notes, she observed.
The minister said that even the CJ himself had to remind him that dissenting notes were a normal phenomenon in the judicial decision making and nowhere so much noise was raised as was being done in Pakistan. She said that the ECP and SC must take notice of Imran’s untrammeled tirade against the sanctimonious institutions of the state and ask him to explain his conduct.
The minister answering a question said that the bench had not granted the prayers of the petitioners seeking disqualification of the Prime Minister because the petitioners including PTI had failed to present any credible evidence in support of their prayers. She said all the five judges who signed the verdict acknowledged the fact that the Prime Minister could not be disqualified on the basis of the available evidence. None of the questions that the JIT had been assigned to probe pertained to the prayers of the petitioners which established the fact that the evidence presented by them had been rejected, she added.
The minister said that the Sharif family had answered questions pertaining to three generations with available documentary evidence and if there were any gaps in the relevant information, every possible effort would be made to satisfy the JIT, though, she observed, it was difficult to produce a complete record of the business transactions that took place 40-50 years ago.
The minister said that the Prime Minister had maintained a dignified silence against the provocative and filthy politics of Imran Khan with a view to strengthen democracy and to ensure stability and harmony in the country, while remaining focused on tackling the inherited challenges like terrorism and revival of the economy. He also directed the workers of the party not to fall for the provocations. Marriyum referring to the allegations frequently leveled by Imran said that he was carrying a bucket of stinking mud which he was throwing around with relish.
She recalled that after the 2013 general election Imran raised the bogey of systematic rigging and blamed almost all the state institutions and PML (N) of having stolen the elections from him and when the Judicial commission repudiated his claims he despite his commitment to withdraw the rigging allegations, started taking umbrage at the commission and during the sit-in kept waiting for the umpire to raise his finger.
She said now he was acting in the same manner in regards to the verdict of SC in the Panama case. The minister regretted the fact that the media never questioned him about his indiscretions and rather has been giving undue coverage and projection to him which encouraged him to resort to such undesirable machinations.
The minister said that the media should ask Imran who offered him the money, why he and his lawyers were not replying to the notices of ECP in the foreign funding case besides raising the question as to why the petition of Hanif Abbassi against Imran Khan was not taken up by the SC?
Responding to a question regarding surrender of spokesman of TTP Ehsan Ullah Ehsan and the revelations made by him, Marriyum Aurangzeb said it testified to the success of the endeavours of the government, security and law enforcing agencies that they had been making to eliminate terrorism from the country and the operation Radul Fasaad launched to achieve the objectives of NAP. The minister said that the statement given by the TTP spokesman showed that militants were trying to mislead the youth in the name of religion and the nation should thank Almighty Allah that the writ of the state had been established through the efforts and sacrifices of the security agencies and the contribution made by constitutional institutions of the country.
The minister emphatically said that according to different surveys Nawaz Sharif was the most popular leader and the PML (N) was the most popular party in the country. She said Nawaz Sharif was a three-times elected Prime Minister and people had expectation from which he was trying to fulfill through the projects in the domain of infrastructure, energy, transport and communication and by restoring peace in the country.
As against this, the PTI had a dismal track record in KPK and the people of the province, particularly youth who believed in the lies of Imran had now realized their folly as the party had failed to deliver, she remarked. The minister said that Imran Khan had been an avowed critic of motorways and metro bus projects but now the KPK government was in the process of preparing feasibilities of the same projects after four years. She said Imran had been trying to mislead the people of KPK and he would reap the reward for his lies during the past four years, in the coming elections.
Castigating Imran for hollow claims about accountability she said, “Those who claimed to hold accountability in 90 days, licked down the Accountability Bureau in the KPK when files of their own ministers for involvement in corruption were opened” Marriyum asked Imran to wait for the elections in 2018 and let the people decide about his political future saying “People will only vote for the party which delivers development projects and resolves their problems”
The minister felt that Imran was afraid of the popularity of Marriyum Nawaz and that is why he had been trying to link her with one controversy or the other to tarnish her image. She also expressed disappointment on his assertion regarding two national anthems in the country.
Responding to a question about PPP she said that the party had already gone into the election mode. The party she said had failed to deliver in Sindh and it was the Prime Minister who was filling the gap by announcing mega development projects in the province like motorway and other infrastructure projects.
Regarding the contents of the Dawn leaks report she advised media to refrain from speculating reporting. She said that interior minister had submitted the report to the Prime Minister who was looking into it and the media would be informed about the findings and recommendations of the committee report sooner than later. She assured the media that necessary action would be taken on the recommendations of the committee.-APP