The special assistant to Prime Minister Imran khan on accountability Barrister Shahzad Akbar made another press conference today in Islamabad. He was flanked by two other close aides of PM, Senator Faisal Javed and special assistant on media Iftikhar Durrani. It is difficult to remember that how many times these advisors, assistants and ministers have told us that they want to bring back the looted money from abroad.
Now the PM assistant and advisor come up with new figures. According to him the government has identified more than 5,000 fake accounts which were allegedly used for money laundering. The adviser told the media that assets worth $5.3 billion were made in Dubai alone through alleged money laundering. “The amount translates into Rs700 billion,” he said, adding that further details of all Iqama holders were being collected with the help of Dubai authorities as well as the local mechanism.
The accounts and foreign properties were found during the investigations into the ongoing cases. The details of each and every case will be shared with media when corruption references will be filed properly, Iftikhar Durrani added. “$1.5bn properties bought in Dubai is estimated a small fraction of ill-gotten money,” said Akbar.
Did he tell us something new that we knew nothing about before this press conference? The matter of fact is that the Shahzad Akbar and other PM aides have nothing new to told us. They are repeatedly telling us or rather assuring us that they are making great efforts to stop the money laundering and to bring back the looted money back. They are just playing to the galleries and their audience.
They are spending more time on the media and signing different MOUs with different governments than to actually dig deep and have proper investigation on suspected transactions and assets.
It is hard to understand that why the government ministers, advisors and assistants are in a hurry to provide incomplete and inconclusive details and evidence to the people of Pakistan. Why it is so difficult for the government officials to keep a distance from media for few months and complete the homework and then bring out something concrete and doable.
Unfortunately, we have no such culture in Pakistan where officials of investigation agencies such as NAB and FIA work silently on under investigation cases and come out in the limelight after securing evidence and proofs. Can the special unit to bring back the looted money and assets from abroad work behind the scene and limelight and then come up with a proper plan, measures and practical actions to bring back the money.
Every day government ministers and advisors come up with new figures on money laundering and foreign assets of Pakistani nationals. Every time these government ministers and advisors speak in a press conference, they tell us different story. They always bring new twists and turns in their story to add up some spice.
Such routine press talks and repeating same claims with different figures are not going to serve the purpose of PTI government.
The PTI before coming into power and forming the government, give the impression that it has already done the home work to bring back the looted money stashed abroad. But it was revealed after the formation of the government that PTI has no concrete plan to bring the money back. Not a single concrete step has been taken by the government in the first 84 days of its government.
The claims to bring back the money and assets from abroad are still mere slogans, rhetoric and fiction. The task force established to bring back the money is busy organizing one meeting after the other. Nothing concrete comes up so far from these meetings. PTI government is using accountability, money laundering and assets abroad as mere political slogans to satisfy its own hard core supporters.
PTI ministers and other officials are still making speeches instead of taking concrete actions. They are still behaving as helpless opposition rather than a government taking actions and measures to tackle the issues.
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17 November, 2019