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Khuhro casts doubts on independence of state institutions

LARKANA: Pakistan Peoples Party Sindh president Nisar Ahmed Khuhro has expressed his serious doubts about independence of state institutions saying that only such an impression is being created. He claimed that attempts were made to “make them follow instructions”.

Speaking at a press conference at the local press club on Sunday, he argued that “if they [institutions] are free to perform, then what had compelled the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government to induct Shahzad Akbar as its adviser on accountability”.

He wondered that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had unearthed money trail in cases against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif but failed to find facts regarding the 1990 elections while investigating the Asghar Khan case and eventually prayed to the Supreme Court to close the case.

‘Adviser on accountability shuttled between FIA, NAB and JIT teams’

He alleged that the adviser [Mr Akbar] used to shuttle between FIA, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the joint investigation team (JIT) [looking into money laundering and fake accounts allegations against PPP leadership and its associates] which showed that he had influenced them.

Mr Khuhro described the JIT findings as ‘ex parte report’ and condemned that the PTI government created a hype, merely basing on its contents, and put on the exit control list the names mentioned in it as suspects.

18th Amendment

Regarding the question of 18th Constitutional Amendment’s adoption without much debate, he explained that it was unanimously passed after a parliamentary committee thoroughly discussed it over a period of one and a half year and the finalised it.

The senior PPP leader reminded the PTI that it did not enjoy a comfortable majority in the National Assembly and that support from its allies was ‘fragile’. He said the federal government should give three per cent out of its own share in the divisible pool to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) instead of going for unconstitutionally cutting town share of provinces. He remarked that the [federal cabinet] was not over and above the Constitution to take such steps.

He pointed out that of the 57 per cent share of provinces in the NFC (National Finance Commission) Award, Punjab enjoyed the lion’s share (51pc) followed by Sindh (24pc), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (14pc) and Balochistan (9pc). He said Sindh contributed 70 per cent revenue to the Centre but was being ignored.

He accused the PTI government of having slashed Sindh’s Rs500 billion development funds, declined to support its wind power and solar energy projects and restricting their scope to 50 megawatts and put the coastal highway, canals’ lining and others projects in cold storage. He drew similarities between the PTI government and military dictatorship.

Zardari’s appearance in court

Answering a question about [PPP co-chairman] Asif Ali Zardari’s scheduled appearance in the banking court on Monday (today), Mr Khuhro said he intended to do that for confirmation of his pre-arrest bail. In reply to another question, he advised the questioner not to talk about Mr Zardari’s arrest before the judiciary’s could issue directives in this regard.

Mr Khuhro also ruled out removal of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah merely on the basis of the JIT’s findings.

Commenting on PTI’s stand that the Sindh governor would look after development projects in Karachi alone, he remarked that through such moves, the federal government was trying to make Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s dream of dividing Sindh come true.

Larkana PPP leaders Nooruddin Abro and Shakeel Memon were present at the press conference.

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