ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Monday that the names of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar will be placed on the Exit Control List.
Speaking to the media in Islamabad after the first meeting of the federal cabinet, he vowed that former finance minister Ishaq Dar as well as Nawaz Sharif’s sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz will be brought back to Pakistan and made to appear before a court of law. We will contact the British government over the Avenfield property, he said, adding that a special taskforce will be tasked with bringing back laundered money that is stored abroad.
“Avenfield properties belong to Pakistan,” the info minister said, referring to one of the corruption cases against the Sharif family in which Nawaz was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison while his daughter Maryam was given eight years’ sentence by an accountability court earlier in July.“Eliminating corruption is an important part of our [government’s] policy,” Chaudhry continued, adding that there will be no political appointments under PTI’s rule.
He said members of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet will not be allowed to get medical treatment abroad. The federal cabinet will also give details of their assets, he said, adding that they will be the first ones to be made accountable for their actions.
Referring to reports that Prime Minister House has 526 employees, Chaudhry said employees will not be fired. He commented on claims made by Nawaz Sharif, who said that he bore his own expenses while he was living at PM House, the information minister said he is either lying or he hid his income. As per his tax returns, he did not have enough to pay for the PM House expenses, he explained.
The PM House expenses are reflected in the budget, said Chaudhry, adding that if Nawaz Sharif or his family want to reimburse the expenses incurred during his term in office, then they are most welcome to do so and will be sent the invoices of the Rs50 million spent.
He also reiterated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vow to ensure there are no political appointments.
Chaudhry also discussed the presidential election and said the PTI is in a comfortable position to win. We have nominated Dr Arif Alvi as president and the opposition has the right to nominate their candidate for the post, he said.
PTV will be given the same space as a private TV channel and, according to the rules, if the opposition wants to use it, they will be able to, he said.
He also said that Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will represent Pakistan at the United Nations. On the question regarding Law Minister Farogh Naseem representing General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, Chaudhry said the law minister in general is not allowed to practice during his tenure. He said General (retd) Musharraf was not discussed during the first cabinet meeting.
Responding to a question regarding the seats vacated by Prime Minister Imran Khan and other candidates, he said the PTI would contest the elections on the vacant seats as well. The candidates will be announced by the party after Eid, said the information minister.
He denied that PTI leader Jahangir Tareen was ever given official protocol. Members of the cabinet will be given one car each, he said.
Give us three months to fulfill the promises we made, he urged the people of Pakistan. We will bring changes in the information ministry, he vowed.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech on Sunday was just over one hour and 10 minutes and people are already saying that it was too long, said the information minister. He probably could not touch every topic in his speech, however, he spoke about broader guidelines for the foreign policy, he said.—INP