| PML-N VP says current govt hasn’t increased even a single penny on oil prices as tax | Imran damaging institutions for his petty politics


ISLAMABAD   -  Vice President of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) Maryam Nawaz Thursday said that the Shahbaz-led government had to increase petroleum prices only because of the contract that the former government signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The PML-N leader said this while talking to media persons outside the Islamabad High Court after attending the proceedings of her appeal against her conviction in the Avenfiled reference here.

She said that traditionally, the former governments tell people about their achievements when they leave but referring to Sheikh Rashid’s recent statement, she said that former ministers are telling the people that Imran Khan laid landmines for the incumbent government.

She said that the Shahbaz-led government has not increased a single penny in the petrol price or tax at its own will and it was because of the contract that the former government had signed with the IMF.

Maryam said that the former government did not know how to run the economy but when they ruined it and ran out of money, they risked the entire country and its economy to take loans from the IMF. She added that this forced the incumbent government to take such decisions because it is bound by the agreements Imran Khan government signed.

The PML-N leader said that it was written in the IMF contract signed in 2019 that the subsidy on petrol will be abolished or the petroleum development levy on petrol will be increased. She said that Pakistan will default if the incumbent government does not follow the contract.

She said that when Imran Khan realized that his government will not survive any longer, he damaged Pakistan so much that it will take months to recover if not a year.  She also said that Imran Khan’s government reduced petrol prices knowing that Pakistan cannot bear the burden.

Reacting to PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s recent statement about holding a “powerful show”, the PML-N Vice President said that the state would stop any such call with full force and added that calls for anarchy, sedition, and violence against the state will be strongly dealt with by the government.

In response to the criticism of the PTI leaders against Director General ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar’s statement that there was no evidence found of a ‘foreign conspiracy’, the PML-N leader said that the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director general’s statement was not political, but was based on facts.

Referring to Nawaz Sharif’s comments regarding former president General Pervez Musharraf’s return to Pakistan, the PML-N leader stated that the party Quaid did not believe in personal revenge and his statements were made on humanitarian grounds.

On the matter of elections, she said that tough decisions were necessary for the stability of the country, adding that the general elections will be held on time.

Earlier, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) deferred the hearing till June 23, on appeals of Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt. (retd) Muhammad Safdar in Avenfield reference.

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kayani conducted hearing of the appeals.

During the hearing, Maryam’s counsel Amjad Pervaiz continued his arguments and said that the trial court had testified eight witnesses on January 18, 2018.

He also said that charges were not framed against all accused instead the NAB changed its case. He added that the NAB had not told that who was the real owner and who was ‘benamdar’ of the property in its original reference. But the bureau had claimed here that Nawaz Sharif was real owner of the property and it was on the name of Hussain Nawaz.

The counsel contended that the NAB’s stance was changed in the supplementary reference and the defense counsel objected on it and prayed the court during the trial to again frame charges against his client.

He further argued that a confused and mix charges were framed against the accused and the charge sheet which was provided to the defense had not mentioned any trust deed.

The IHC bench noted that trust deed had been mentioned in the charge which was mentioned to the bench. Maryam’s lawyer said that the investigation was miss-led from reference to the indictment.

Justice Kayani remarked that the investigation was not completed on the time which was mentioned by the lawyer. Amjad said that his client was included in investigation on the basis of only hearsay, and the original documents were never shared with them.

The counsel adopted the stance that the court had to view the legal worth of trust deed on the basis of which Maryam Nawaz was convicted. He said that the NAB had engaged Robert and law firm in investigation but Jerry Freeman was not included in the process.

The bench remarked that the NAB had stated that the accused had submitted the fake documents to save the real accused. Maryam’s lawyer said that the trust deed on the basis of which his client was convicted was the dated of June 2006. If the documents were of 2006 then how it could be an attempt to save the real accused, he said.

The lawyer said that the NAB had failed to shift the burden of proofs. He further said that JIT head Wajid Zia had hired his cousin to verify the letter from Jerry Freeman in London and the prosecution was presenting this letter as the main proof.

He asserted that the Calibri font was existed in 2005 and he used it by himself then why not other could use it. Later, the court deferred the hearing of the appeals till June 23 for further proceedings.