Home South Asia Pakistan Khawaja Asif: Former defence minister identified as a National Security Threat?

Khawaja Asif: Former defence minister identified as a National Security Threat?

Addressing a press conference, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan leveled accusations against senior PML-N leader and former defence minister, Khawaja Asif. Dr. Awan noted that the ministry of Interior affairs has been tasked to carry out a detailed investigation on Asif’s ties with a Dubai-based company.

Asif

News Desk |

The PTI-led government has approved an inquiry against senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif to determine how the “guarantor of national security emerged as a risk to national security himself.”

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan stated that PML-N leader Khawaja Asif will be investigated for holding Iqama (work permit) while serving as a federal minister.

Dr. Firdous said, “An individual who has served the positions of defence minister, foreign minister, and a water and power minister was discovered to have been obtaining a salary from a foreign company. This is a big threat to Pakistan’s national security.”

Khawaja Asif: Serious Security Breach 

Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan briefed that this investigation has been forwarded to the Ministry of Interior, and the instructed to investigate all the hidden and obvious angles of the case. The investigation will substantiate “how an individual responsible for protecting the national security of the country, the defence minister, was on the payroll of another country, posing a security threat to Pakistan.”

The nationwide shutter down strike observed on Sunday, she noted that it was a natural outcome of the major economic changes ushered in by the government. 

Dr. Firdous added that the investigation will examine all the agreements and defence-related memorandum of understanding signed during his tenure as the defence ministry, and how they are linked with Pakistan’s national security.

Dr. Awan added, “The Dubai-based company should also be investigated to identify the security risks on the international level, and determine the countries that benefitted from having close ties with this company.” She added that this company will be investigated to ascert “the countries who were allowed to access Pakistan’s national secrets.”

The Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting pledged that the media will soon be provided the detailed facts discovered by the investigation. She noted, “This is a serious security breach.”

Status Quo Challenged

Discussing the leaked videos of the accountability judge, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan noted that it would be premature to make a judgment about the outcome, and cautioned against comments until the Supreme Court’s decision.

Read more: Senior PML-N leader Khawaja Asif disqualified for life by IHC

She noted, “Indeed, the affidavit (issued by the judge) is a revelation and it highlights the mafia that entraps people, and uses them to extract their benefits, only to discard them as easily as a tissue paper.”

Dr. Firdous noted that when the status quo is challenged, the opposition’s hue and cry is understandable, and a natural resistance against the changes was expected. Addressing the nationwide shutter down strike observed on Sunday, she noted that it was a natural outcome of the major economic changes ushered in by the government.

She said, “When you want to break away from ‘usual businesses’ and usher in an agenda of reforms that seeks to implement a powerful tax regime that will benefit the country, the beneficiaries of the status quo will create challenges.”

Dr. Firdous added, “The challenges faced by the traders can be regarded in two ways: the genuine difficulties that can be resolved by consultation and discussion-and those driven by political agendas of creating chaos and anarchy under the guise of trade leaders working for political parties.”

This country will generate its revenue through tax reforms, and it will stand on its own feet, without debt or external borrowings.

Dr. Awan added, “The government considers the genuine trader as a key partner, and regards the importance of traders in progress and economic growth.”

The Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting expressed the PTI-led government’s willingness to address the “genuine issues” of the traders. She noted that provincial ministers of industries and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) are engaged in resolving these issues through dialogue.

She further stated, “The government will not be blackmailed by anyone. Traders who believe they can associate trade with the vested agendas of a political party, should abandon these agendas and allow the wheel of progress to move forward without hurdles.”

Read more: Government gearing up to approve sweeping reforms in FBR

Dr. Firdous explained that the system cannot function without efficient tax generation, and the FBR format will be implemented as the government will ensure that the rule of law is followed by all. She noted, “This country will generate its revenue through tax reforms, and it will stand on its own feet, without debt or external borrowings.”

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