News Analysis |
Continuing the barrage of criticism on the incumbent government, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan took a jibe at the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for failing to eject the allegedly corrupt minister, Ishaq Dar, from his cabinet. He labelled Abbasi, a puppet prime minister. Imran condemned Abbasi and said he is powerless and that he has no authority to remove the indicted Finance Minister (FM).
Imran took to Twitter to express his shock and attacked him for not taking decisions unless they have been dictated to him by Nawaz Sharif.
In his tweet, PTI chairman described Dar as the front man of the Sharif mafia. He made further allegations and alleged that FM Dar was not being sacked “simply because the Sharif mafia was petrified that he might spill more beans about their money laundering”.
In response to Imran’s onslaught, Maryam Nawaz responded briskly and tweeted that it’s ironic that someone who was acting as a puppet was busy accusing others. She affirmed that he must have been ordered from somewhere to tweet this today.
The ongoing war of words between the ruling PML-N and Imran Khan is expected to continue until the Panama case does not reach a meaningful conclusion.
Earlier the gossip mill in Islamabad’s political circuits was a buzz that FM Dar had submitted his resignation to PM Abbasi a week ago. Following this development, the media reported that the FM has resigned and that he will stay in England until he recovers. However, all this proved to merely be speculation and Dar failed to resign. According to recent media reports, the government has left it wholly-solely on Dar to decide if he wants his post or not.
The PM’s spokesperson Musaddiq Malik had stated last week that FM Dar would take the decision of quitting himself and he was ably taking care of his ministerial portfolio in consultation with the relevant officials. According to him, day-to-day affairs of the department were taken care of efficiently despite the absence of the minister.
Earlier, during the investigation in the Panama Papers case, a five-member Supreme Court bench had ordered NAB to file one reference against Dar, on petitions filed by AML’s Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and PTI’s Imran Khan.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) stated, “The accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his name and the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs. 831.678 million. The Apex Court and Accountability Bureau have found discrepancies among his declared sources of income and his net wealth”.
On 30th October, Ishaq Dar was due in accountability court, but he failed to appear sighting ill health. The accountability court issued bailable arrest warrants against him and rejected his application seeking exemption from appearance.
Imran Khan took a jibe at the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for failing to eject the allegedly corrupt minister, Ishaq Dar, from his cabinet.
At the next hearing on 2nd November, accountability court rejected another application for the exception from court proceedings. The accountability court endorsed NAB’s request to freeze his assets in Pakistan.
The defence argued that FM Dar is so weak that he can hardly walk for more than 4 minutes. Dar’s defence presented a medical report with details explaining the poor health of the minister, which forced him to remain absent from court proceedings.
On 14th November Accountability Court issued the non-bailable warrants against the incumbent FM Dar. His allegedly deliberate disappearance has halted the court proceedings. The court is adjourned until the next hearing on 21st November.
Imran’s relentless efforts to expose the allegedly illegal wealth of the House of Sharif and its aides have seemingly reached a climax. Having been caught ill-prepared in this unfamiliar territory, it has become difficult to control the damage to the Sharif family. The opposition wants to capitalize, and Sharifs are on the defensive. The ongoing war of words between the ruling PML-N and Imran Khan is expected to continue until the Panama case does not reach a meaningful conclusion.