PTV, Parliament attack cases
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday levelled corruption allegations against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, saying that both are busy in filling their pockets. Meanwhile, the court granted exemption to Imran Khan from appearance in court in PTV and Parliament attack cases. Speaking to the media outside an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), where he was appearing for violence cases related to the 2014 sit-ins, said that the Nawaz brothers had been caught in corruption cases.
‘Nawaz was caught in Panama, and the chota don Shahbaz Sharif has been caught by China’s regulatory authorities,’ he said. The PTI chairman said that Faisal Subhan, the CEO of Capital Engineering which was awarded the contract for Multan Metro bus project, confessed to the Chinese regulatory authority investigating corruption charges in the project that Shahbaz and his family received hefty kickbacks in their overseas accounts. ‘Shahbaz Sharif has spent nine trillion rupees through his chosen bureaucrats like Ahad Cheema,’ he said. ‘The real issue of Pakistan, today is, that will this mafia continue to loot the public’s money that should be spent on clean drinking water projects, health, and education?’
Earlier, Imran Khan was granted an exemption from appearing in the next hearing of violence cases related to 2014 sit-ins. Judges, Kausar Abbas and Shahrukh Arjumand were hearing four cases – attack on the state television building, Parliament and Junejo – against PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek leaders. A notice for a permanent exemption from appearing before the court in the cases was issued to the prosecution. The hearing was then adjourned until March 13. Imran, whose exemption plea had been earlier rejected by the court on February 23.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of Punjab government Malik Ahmed Khan reacted to Imran Khan’s statement, stating that the Chinese company involved in the Multan Metro Bus project has already asked for pardon. ‘Niazi Sahib cannot deny the facts,’ he said. ‘His has not performed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The upcoming elections in 2018 will prove to be a test for Imran.’
Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz leader and State Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb on Monday said that Imran was a fugitive from the ATC, yet he was granted an exemption from appearance in the next hearing. ‘He submitted a plea of exemption for the first time and the request was granted to a person who does not show up at court hearings and attacks the Parliament,’ she said. In an apparent reference to deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the minister said that those who appear before court are not allowed to meet their ailing mother and wife. ‘Verdicts like these definitely raise questions,’ she said. Imran’s legal counsel, on February 15, had submitted two pleas to the anti-terrorism court seeking acquittal and exemption from appearance. His legal counsel had pleaded the court to take up the acquittal plea before the indictment of his client.—SABAH