–Marriyum says Akbar persuading NAB, FIA to arrest Shehbaz Sharif
–Ayaz says British publication has requested more time respond to notice
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb on Tuesday challenged Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar to become party to the defamation lawsuit filed against British newspaper Daily Mail over an investigative story pertaining to the alleged corruption of Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif.
Addressing a press conference in the federal capital along with PML-N Vice President Ayaz Sadiq, she said that if the government has any proof against Shehbaz, “they should present in front of the public it instead of presenting lame papers during press conferences”.
She claimed that on directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Shahzad has been persuading National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to arrest the opposition leader.
She said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is using the anti-graft watchdog to take revenge from political opponents.
“They talk about evidence but they rarely present it,” she said, adding that if they had any evidence against the party leaders, allegations of corruption of billions of dollars would not have turned into petty allegations.
“Why did they need to blackmail and pressurise judges into ruling against Nawaz Sharif if they had such undeniable proof of corruption against him and why were they forced to use the age-old tool of political victimisation, the assets beyond means reference?” she asked.
She challenged Shahzad to present the evidence before the court instead of “wasting taxpayers’ money on press conferences”.
She said that the case against Rana Sanaullah is a blatant and shameful act of enormous proportions. She challenged the government to present the video of the narcotics recovered from Sanaullah’s car which they claimed they had.
She pointed out that when Sanaullah asked about the video in court, the accusers stood there with nothing to say. But, she said, even this fascist ruthlessness would not save the tumbling castle of this regime which has halved the country’s growth rate and increase inflation four fold.
“The people of Pakistan will not stop their protests against the Rs15 roti and Rs25 naan, unimaginably jacked up prices of gas and electricity and the exponential unemployment which has snatched every last bit of food away from honest hard working Pakistanis,” she concluded.
Ayaz told the media that the British publication had excused itself from submitting a reply in the designated 14 days and has demanded additional time.
“We write to confirm that we believe that we will be unable to reply to your letter by your requested deadline of 8th August,” Ayaz quoted Daily Mail as saying in a letter sent to the PML-N president.
He said that the British newspaper did not have any proof and this is why it asked for additional time.
Ayaz said that PM’s aide claims to be a barrister yet “he does not know anything about the British legal system”, adding that a notice is the “pre-action protocol of defamation”.
He also criticising the government’s economic policies, saying that the tenure of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf had now started to seem better than that of PTI. “Their conduct is against the business community and such an attitude was not even witnessed during the era of dictators,” he added.
Sadiq further said that the government had failed to prove corruption against the leadership of PML-N.
Earlier, Shahzad had claimed that a lawsuit was not filed in a court rather only a notice was served to the British publication.