A war of words broke out on Twitter between Pakistan prime minister Shehbaz Sharif and his predecessor and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan over the cabinet approving an ordinance to bypass all the procedures for selling assets to foreign countries in order to prevent Islamabad from defaulting.
Hours after the cabinet approved the ordinance, Khan – in a Twitter post – questioned the credibility of “imported govt” for the sale of national assets. “How can Imported govt brought to power through US conspiracy, led by Crime Minister, who’s family along with Zardari have volumes written on their corruption, be trusted with sale of national assets & that too thru bypassing all procedural & legal checks,” he wrote.
Khan then went on to accuse the government of “plundering Pakistan for the last 30 years” and also held them responsible for the “present economic meltdown.”
“These ppl have been plundering Pak for last 30 yrs & are now responsible for the present economic meltdown. These thieves should never be allowed to sell our national assets in the devious manner they are attempting. The nation will never trust them with our national assets,” he said.
Pakistan’s cabinet abolished regulatory checks including the applicability of six relevant laws in a desperate move to save the country from default through the emergency sale of state’s assets to foreign countries, news agency ANI reported citing The Express Tribune.
Following Imran Khan’s attack, PM Shehbaz said in a tweet that “Imran Niazi suffers from a memory loss and needs a few reminders”.
“One, as per Transparency International report, corruption increased during his rule.Even transers/postings were on sale in addition to big scams.Two, the people are paying the price of how he mismanaged the economy,” he said.
He also accused Khan of “deeply hurting” the global prestige and standing of the country and its relations with friendly countries.
Highlighting another point, he said: “Four, he has lost a sense of balance in his lust for power, which is evidenced by his habitual recourse to lies, propaganda & blatant twisting of facts.”
According to the ordinance, no court in the country shall entertain an application, petition, or suit against any process or act of sale of assets to a foreign entity. However, legal experts say that the courts do not accept such ouster clauses, news agency ANI cited The Express Tribune.
Similarly, no investigating agency, anti-graft agency, law enforcement agency or court can initiate an inquiry into or initiate an investigation for any procedural lapse or irregularity by any person in a commercial transaction or agreement under the ordinance unless there exists evidence of personal monetary gain with corroborative evidence of the link between such monetary gain to the undue benefit rendered to any part of the agreement.
(With agency inputs)