LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif said that he had a friendly relation with Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, however, regretted that the two of them have dissociated with each other.
During an interview with anchorperson on his local TV channel, Shehbaz said that he had convinced Nawaz Sharif for awarding ticket to Nisar, but it could not happen because of issuance of statements from both sides.
“I have had an affiliation with Chaudhry Nisar and I won’t issue statements on that throughout my life,” he said.
The former Punjab CM also said that the party has chosen him for premiership and if they won the elections, then he would be the prime minister.
Allegations of being behind Reham’s book
He denied allegations of lending any form of support to Reham Khan for her upcoming book which has stirred controversy.
“I am neither behind Reham’s book nor gave her a single penny for it directly or indirectly,” Shehbaz said.
The PML-N president further said, “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan has alleged that I am behind Reham’s book but I give no value to his allegation.”
Shehbaz further said he only met Reham once in his whole life.
“I only met her once when she interviewed me during the 2014 sit-ins and never after that,” the former Punjab chief minister said.
Speaking about the allegations levelled against him by the PTI chairman, Shehbaz said, “Khan Sb said I gave Rs27 billion to Reham for the book through an alleged front man Javed Sadiq.”
“The second allegation he has levelled against me is that I offered him Rs10 billion to stay mum on the Panama Papers case,” he continued.
“Imran’s third allegation against me is that I took Rs1-2 billion in commission in Multan Metro Bus project through partnership with a Chinese company,” the former Punjab chief minister said.
Shehbaz upheld that he sent notices to Imran following each allegation.
“However, he never replied to me after which I even went to court and neither he nor his counsel ever appeared for any of the cases,” he asserted.
The PML-N president further expressed his hope for the conduct of a free and fair election.
“We have kicked off our election campaign from Karachi, where I also met with traders and industrialists,” he said. “We should learn from our mistakes and do something for the country.”
NAB and corruption cases
Commenting on National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Shehbaz told the anchorperson that the past 15-year performance of the anti-graft body was in front of everyone.
“Nandipur power project was worth Rs30 billion, yet it was handed over to a company without tender,” he said, adding that for a long time the project’s machinery was lying in Karachi.
The former Punjab CM said that he had identified Saaf Pani corruption scandal, in which billions of rupees were about to be plundered. “The anti-corruption department conducted investigations into the scandal.”
He regretted inaction in Nandipur power project and EOBI corruption cases.
Shehbaz stressed on the need for “respecting the institutions” and working together for the development of the country.
“The fears of non-transparent elections should be eliminated and everyone should be allowed to go to the polls,” he said, adding that action should be taken against anyone on the basis of evidence, after the elections.
The PML-N president said the country was passing through a very sensitive phase and neighbouring countries were ahead of it many fields.
“Today, we have to win the economic war against India,” he said.
Statement on ‘Paan’ was ‘on a lighter note’
Responding to a question about his statement with regard to ‘Paan’, Shehbaz said whatever he said with regard to ‘Paan’ was in love of the people of Karachi.
“I love Karachi populace immensely and what I said was on a lighter note,” he explained.
The PML-N president vowed to start work on Bhasha dam from the day one, if his party came into power.
“Right now Kalabagh Dam cannot be constructed as it has fallen prey to disputes,” he said. “Only Bhasha Dam is a solution to our issue.”
Shehbaz said that there was nothing greater than national unity and a consensus was necessary on dams.
“There would be a huge loss if Kalabagh Dam was constructed without support from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.”