Cases against Shahbaz not instituted by PTI: minister

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi speaks to reporters on Saturday.—APP
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi speaks to reporters on Saturday.—APP

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was an independent institution and he was sure it had arrested Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif after a thorough investigation.

Talking to media on Saturday, the minister said NAB and courts were doing their job independently and the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf had no role in Shahbaz Sharif’s arrest.

“Neither the PTI has any role in the arrest of Shahbaz Sharif nor has it made cases against him as the matter relates to NAB and courts,” he said. Mr Qureshi said that PML-N had a legal team which must be looking after the matter.

About his recent visit to the United States, he said efforts were under way to improve relations with the US but it will take time.

The minister said that during his visit to the US he made all-out efforts to end the disconnect in the relationship and told the US officials that good relations were in the interest of both countries. He said the US should not deal with Pakistan with an Afghan perspective and its relations with India.

“Pakistan sacrificed a lot in the war on terror and the purpose of my visit to the US was to seek neither assistance nor financial support,” he said. Mr Qureshi said he did not discuss with the US the coalition fund.

“Coalition fund is not financial aid, rather it is reimbursement of spending by Pakistan on the war on terror,” he said. He said the US had been criticising Pakistan for the past two years; however, he elaborated Islam­abad’s point of view to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

He refused to comment on a question regarding a statement by the US president about Saudi Arabia. “Pakistan is already facing a lot of problems and we do not want to indulge in others’ affairs,” he said.

He said that he elaborated Pakistan’s point of view during his meeting with the United Nations secretary general and during his address to the UN General Assembly he highlighted the report describing human rights violations by the Indian army in occupied Kashmir.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2018



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