News Desk |
Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi stated on the floor of parliament that “democracy took the best revenge from the people of Pakistan” during Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s rule.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s minister, from Karachi, said that corruption was so rampant, during the PPP era, that a US Senate committee conducted a whole case study on money laundering allegedly involving PPP’s co-chairman “Hazrat” Asif Ali Zardari. He lambasted PPP, its chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his father Asif Ali Zardari in his speech at the National Assembly on June 24.
Zaidi said that he was standing in the assembly after making a lot of sacrifices in his 19-year long struggle, including sacrifices made at family, friends and business level to facing an attack at residence and bullet holes in the car. In the 20th year, he said, the responsibilities have increased to manifolds because he did not inherit anything.
550 million gallons of sewage water, untreated water and falls into the sea every day. Apart from that, roughly 6,000 to 7,000 tons of solid waste is thrown into the sea every day
As Zaidi had taken the floor to respond to Bilawal Zardari Bhutto who had spoken earlier; Zaidi said that the PPP chairman lectured the members on the word “selective” through dictionary definitions but left before listening to those from the other side. While asking the Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry to pay attention, Zaidi said: “I want to tell him [Bilawal] that accidental means “Hadsa” and several things have taken place accidently.”
“If he had stayed, I would have given him a lesson in English. Although I couldn’t afford to go to Oxford but I can still give him a lesson in English. Taking shot at Bilawal’s urdu, Zaidi said that “he left after making a speech that half of the Pakistanis, or let’s just say 70 percent of Pakistanis, couldn’t understand at all.”
If he had shown a little courage to stay here in assembly, he said, PTI would have answered all his questions. “As I was saying that responsibilities have increased to manifolds, especially after being given a portfolio,” he said, “the biggest responsibility is to keep the conscience clear.” Zaidi sounded profound when he said that he believes that “God speaks to you through your conscience.”
Zardari should take Plea Bargain Option: Zaidi
Political prisoners have the right to come and speak in the assembly because it’s the prerogative of the speaker to issue production order for anyone, Zaidi said, adding that he, however, has never heard that production orders were issued for those involved in money laundering cases. The minister for maritime affairs then asserted that legislators produced through production orders should have stayed in the assembly after making speeches.
Quoting the former president – who called for an end to “accountability” and arrests in order to move forward – Zaidi said he wanted to draw Zardari’s attention towards the plea bargain clause of the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance of 1999. He said that it was the only way forward for Zardari if he wanted to bring an end to the process of accountability.
4,000 Roofless Schools, missing Zakat funds and 550 Million Gallons of Sewage Water
Commenting on governance, Zaidi said, PPP was ruling in Sindh for the last 11 years. Referring to the Auditor General’s report, Zaidi said, Zakat funds were missing and 4,000 schools have no roof. Bilawal said ‘where should the poor go, Zaidi quoted while simultaneously advising that the poor should certainly not go to Larkana.
From Karachi to Ghotki, he said, total 550 million gallons of sewage water and untreated water falls into the sea every day. Apart from that, roughly 6,000 to 7,000 tons of solid waste is thrown into the sea every day. “And then they [PPP officials] talk about administration here in the assembly,” Zaidi said.
US Senate’s Report and Money Laundering through Summit Bank
Questioning the ownership of the Summit Bank, Zaidi said, the owner has written a letter to the authorities concerned that he doesn’t own the bank. “The question is who owns the bank then,” he inquired, adding “Mr Speaker, you can take my resignation if you do not find the record of money laundering from the bank’s records.”
While referring to a 1999 report of the US Senate’s Permanent Sub Committee on Investigation of Governmental Affairs, Zaidi said that it was a case study on money laundering. “Read the report from page No. 902 onwards,” he said, “the whole case study is on Hazrat Asif Ali Zardari.”
The US senator’s report is as if you are getting a Bachelors of Commerce degree by attending evening classes, he quipped, adding that one can get a Ph.D. degree after reading the recent JIT report on the fake bank accounts case.
Audit Report, Foreign Debt and Burj Khalifa
The audit report of the Sindh government for the period between 2009 to 2014 states that total US $14 were spent on health, education and development sectors. “Mr Speaker, a total of two billion dollars were spent to build the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa,” Zaidi quipped while questioning ‘where did the money go.’
Sharing figure of foreign debt, he said, foreign debt and liabilities were 13 billion dollars in 1988, 39 billion dollars in 1999, 40.6 billion dollars in 2008, and 97 billion dollars in 2018. “Democracy took the best revenge from the people of Pakistan,” he said. Billions of dollars were taken but no one has any justification where did the money go, he said, adding that even then there are politicians who come on television and defend PPP government.
What did Saudi Crown Prince say to PM Khan?
While quoting the Saudi Crown Prince, he revealed, “The Prince said to PM Khan that they considered Pakistan their home, they always wanted to invest in Pakistan but were waiting for an honest man to come to rule the country. They were searching for a man who doesn’t have a steel mill in Saudi Arabia.”
Zaidi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan did not make cases against PPP and PML-N, adding that he only directed the institutions concerned to proceed as per law.