Islamabad—Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Pervaiz Rashid on Thursday said Prime Minister’s name has not been mentioned in Panama Papers and the allegations and claims of the opposition in this respect carry no weight.
“Prime Minister’s name is not mentioned in Panama Papers. Therefore, the demand of opposition to include the PM’s name in Panama Papers ToRs as well as their allegations against the premier carry no weight and are beyond facts and reality,” he said in a private news channel talk show.
He said it is beyond perception that why the opposition misquotes the name of the Prime Minister and desires his name in the ToRs. “Let the ToRs be finalized and a Commission for investigation is constituted where the sons of the Prime Minister shall also clear their position.”
The minister said, it is the matter of the companies registered in the names of the sons of the Prime Minister. Even there is no allegation against them by now whether the money invested in those companies was earned through illegal means.
He said the government endorses the demand of the opposition to clarify about investment in offshore companies but demands that this investigation should be done against all those who are alleged of earning money through illegal means.
“Whether it is the name of PM’s sons or Jehangir Tareen, or Aleem Khan or others, all should be probed about legality and sources of their income,” he said.
The Minister said when there is no allegation against the Prime Minister, why the opposition desires that the Prime Minister should appear before a court as an accused when there is no allegation against them.
“Prime Minister is not reluctant to accountability. But, we are also a party and have our political standing, then why baseless allegations against a leader who has already twice faced accountability during the eras of Pervez Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto,” he added.
Pervaiz Rashid explained that during Musharraf era a detailed investigation was held against the Prime Minister and so happened during the BB tenure when the family members were put behind bars and investigations were held. But, in both cases no evidence of earning money by illegal means or corruption was established.
He said if the opposition ToRs are placed in front of any person he will clearly state that these are one persons specific and lack the gist to bring all corrupt to the justice. “The current ToRs of the opposition clearly feel like vilifying one person. These ToRs are actually an outcome of the defeated minds who had repeatedly been beaten by the PML-N in elections.”
He said PTI wants accountability of the Prime Minister for charges not leveled against him but has forgotten the case under trial at Election Commission for misappropriation of the party funds.
He said all the questions raised by the opposition off and on were addressed in the ToRs framed by the government. “Let the Commission be constituted and everybody including the sons of the Prime Minister clear their position before the Commission.”
The minister said, it cannot happen that those defeated by us in elections bring forth ToRs of their choice and ask the Prime Minister to face trial.
He challenged the opposition to point out any corruption, commission or kick backs on part of the Prime Minister during his all the three tenures. “Let the opposition write down the crimes in the ToRs and not the names of the persons, we shall be ready to clear our position. But, as far as the present ToRs of the opposition are concerned, these are biased and based on personal vendetta,”
Answering a question, the minister said the Prime Minister is expected to return before Eid-ul-fitr. The doctors usually advise two to three weeks rest after such a surgery and even in that matter, the PM is expected to return before Eid.
Commenting on the return of Dr Tahirul Qadri and his planned sit-in in Lahore, the minister said, he tried it in the past as well and now again he has come to Pakistan to exploit emotions of his followers. “Dr Qadri has bunch of followers whom he gathers at sit-ins for some days and then goes abroad leaving them alone.”
He said Qadri’s last sit-in was less in number than the one staged in the PPP era. In previous sit-in he had to even hire people on daily wages who were paid for attending sit-in and listening to sermons of Dr Qadri.
The minister as far as Imran Khan was concerned, he believed that PTI Chief not be part of any effort to derail democracy when only on year remains in general elections and 2017 will be the year of election campaign.
“Therefore, I think Imran would prefer to go to masses in election campaign with is charge sheet and we shall go to masses with our development agenda and performance in the government. Imran will not like to get his name written in the history as an anti-democracy leader like Asghar Khan,” he added.
“People are the best judge of the performance of any government and we shall go to them on basis of our performance on completion of our tenure and let the opposition also go to masses with their charge sheet,” the minister said.—APP