ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has questioned Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over alleged spending of billions of rupees from the taxpayer money on the security and the home-going rally of the ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Through a letter to the Prime Minister, PTI leader Andleeb Abbas has sought a response from the chief executive of the country under the Freedom of Information Ordinance, 2002.
In her letter, she said that Abbasi replaced Nawaz Sharif as a Prime Minster on 1st August 2017 as he was disqualified by Supreme Court by its unanimous verdict dated 28th July 2017.
“He (Nawaz) was disqualified for life from holding any public office or any position in a political party. Despite the court’s judgment the government has been using taxpayer’s money to facilitate and sponsor his political activities,” she said, adding that being a citizen of Pakistan and a taxpayer, under the Article 19-A of the Constitution of Pakistan and Freedom of Information Ordinance, 2002, she needed certified information regarding misuse of public resources on ousted Prime Minister’s rally under Freedom of Information Ordinance, 2002. She sought certified information under Freedom of Information Ordinance, 2002 for the following 4 questions:
(i) Nawaz Sharif is a common citizen. After disqualification he should have left the Prime Minister House immediately, but he stayed there for two days along with his family members and later shifted to the Punjab House and chaired the party consultative meetings there. Basic monthly expenditure of the PM Office excluding pay and allowances during 2015-16 was Rs 6.9 million. Why he was allowed to stay at PM House for extra days with his family members and later at the Punjab House at the expense of taxpayer money, she asked.
(ii) Why members of new cabinet and MNAs, who are paid from taxpayer money, have been busy serving the ex-PM rather than the affairs of the government. Why Abbasi had not held Federal Ministers and MNAs accountable for spending time and public money on promoting and accompanying Nawaz Sharif en route to Lahore using their official vehicles, security and protocol worth millions of rupees?
(iii) Rs 21.8 million of public money was spent for the security and VVIP protocol of Sharif family’s members during their appearances before Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT). This time, on the rally of a private citizen in Islamabad, 2,500 security personnel of Islamabad police, Frontier Constabulary and Rangers were used. This is a clear act of corrupt practices. Why VVIP security was provided to a private citizen?
(iv) Mr Prime Minister, around 2,000 employees and 700 motor vehicles of Capital Development Authority (CDA) were forced to participate in the rally. Similarly, Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation’s resources were shamelessly used by the Mayor of Islamabad to put banners and flexes for the rally. Media has shown that fire brigade trucks were used for mounting the banners of Nawaz Sharif and police vehicles were shown distributing water bottles among the rally participants. The situation is not different in Punjab particularity in NA-120 where by-election is to be held on 17th September. “Why is the taxpayer’s money being misused by the government for somebody who is not even a public office holder anymore,” she further asked.
She said that the former Prime Minister was ousted by the Supreme Court on dishonest practices and there are NAB cases of billions of rupees corruption against him. “It is sad to see Prime Minister! that you have continued that tradition of misuse of public office and taxpayer’s money. Kindly give me an account for all the millions of rupees splurged on the ousted PM from public funds or it will be just a matter of time that legal proceedings will be undertaken to stall the blatant abuse of public money,” she said.