PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday held a press conference in London to declare that the “Niazi-NAB nexus had once more been dealt a defeat”.
His remarks came a day after PTI senior counsel Naeem Bokhari withdrew a set of appeals challenging bail granted to Shehbaz in the Ashiana case and the Ramzan Sugar Mills case.
NAB had failed to convince the Supreme Court what role the former chief minister had played in the Ashiyana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme. It had sought to establish that Shehbaz had abused his authority as chief minister.
During the hearing, the apex court was unable to understand how the former chief minister was guilty of misusing his authority or committing or indulging in corruption when he himself sent the matter to a committee and later to the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment when the allegations of procedural irregularities came to his notice.
In today’s press conference, Shehbaz discussed the court proceedings and criticised how “despite an army of NAB prosecutors”, PTI’s Naeem Bukhari had appeared to defend the case.
“When Naeem Bukhari sahib saw things are not panning out for him, he voluntarily withdrew his applications which had sought the cancellation of my bail.”
Shehbaz said that over the past year-and-a-half a malicious propaganda had been undertaken by “Imran Khan Niazi and his ministers” in which poisonous remarks were made but the comments given by the honourable bench, and especially the chief justice, in yesterday’s hearing had “separated all the truth from the lies”.
The PML-N president said he had never before seen a prime minister “more divisive, egoistic, ungrateful and full of anger” than Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“No one in the country has any doubt of the way he attempted to push the opposition against the wall, seeking their conviction in false cases and spewing poisonous remarks against them.
“If he had spent even one-tenth of this energy and time in changing Pakistan’s fortunes, the country would not have been in the dire state it is,” said Shehbaz.
He told the media he is “confident that Mian Nawaz Sharif will also be proven innocent”.
“Under Mian Nawaz Sharif’s leadership, from 2014-2018, despite tough challenges, the credit for all development projects completed goes to him and his team.”
He said “without going into too many details” he wished to provide “just one example” of such development projects.
“You must recall that before 2014 there used to be loadshedding of more than 20 hours. This was a great challenge which Nawaz Sharif had said he will try his best to meet within five years, during campaigning in 2013.”
“He worked day and night and power projects of 11000MW were completed. CPEC had an important role in it as with the cooperation of China, thousands of megawatts of electrical power projects were installed as an investment.”
Praising Nawaz’s “political wisdom”, he also reminded the media that an additional 5,000MW of gas-based power projects had also been developed at a historical pace and “at the lowest cost in history”.
“General Electric won bids after very transparent bidding. The original costing was $4-5bn but they were installed at half that amount and we also saved Rs160bn.”