LAHORE - The PPP, which is vehemently opposing privatisation policy of the present government, has accused the Sharifs of selling national assets to their business partners.
“It is quite evident from the names which have surfaced so far in connection with the proposed privatisation plan of the government that they are and had been business partners of the Sharif family”, alleged PPP’s Secretary General Sardar Latif Khan Khosa on Sunday who also said the these very people were doled out shares of different State institutions in the past as well.
Talking to The Nation, the former Punjab Governor further said that Sharif brothers had staged this ‘loot sale’ in the name of privatisation only to purchase the national assets themselves through their business partners.
“The same people who had purchased shares of federal bodies during first tenure of the PML-N government in the 1990s are again active”, he said.
Khosa stated that as a matter of fact the government was not selling anything through privatisation. “They are actually purchasing the national institutions through their business partners. The collaboration was quite visible in the previous deals and so is the case with the planned privatisation”, he disclosed.
When asked to name those business men associated with the ruling family, the PPP leader avoided giving any name, saying every body knew about the persons. Asked again if he was referring to Mian Mansha and company, Khosa laughed his head off and said: “You know the names so don’t try to put the words in my mouth”.
He explained that this was not the only reason for which the PPP was opposed to the process of privatisation. “We are against this sell-off because it would give rise to massive unemployment and the country would be deprived of its precious assets forever”, he observed.
He, however, said that government should not make any new investment in the energy sector which should be left for the private investors.
Khosa suggested that instead of selling the sick departments like PIA, Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Steel and other such departments at throw away prices, the government should overcome the administrative shortfall in these entities to make them profitable institutions.
Giving argument against the proposed privatisation policy of the government, Latif said that it was a world-wide practise that if some institution was on the verge of default, the governments would save it by investing more money to enable it stand on its own feet.
Asked why the PPP government during its last tenure did not take steps for revival of these departments, Khosa came up with a long list of problems his party’s government had to face during the period; and which, according to him, diverted its attention from the real issues.
“Due to pressures coming from the proactive judiciary, the coalition partners and some other quarters, the prime focus of the PPP during that period had been to save its government. Besides, there were other issues like security situation which had to be tackled on priority basis”, he replied.
He said that PPP government was kept under constant pressure by generating controversies on NRO cases, Kerry Lugar Bill, Memo Scam and the Swiss letter etc.
“The very first issue which confronted the government was to push back the militants who had assumed control of Swat and Malakand. regions. Then there was the issue of rehabilitation of IDPs from the two areas. The previous government also had to deal with the massive floods rom 2010 to 2012”, he explained to justify his party’s inaction on certain key issues.