Fayyaz rebuts media reports about Aasia Bibi’s travel abroad

LAHORE: Punjab Information and Culture Minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassam Chohan Thursday said that Aasia Bibi had not gone abroad and she is still in Pakistan.

Responding to the media queries on the Punjab Assembly premises prior to the session here on Thursday, he rejected a news item that Aasia Bibi had proceeded abroad after her acquittal in the

blasphemy case and subsequent release from Multan jail.

The information minister said that Aasia Bibi was only flown to Islamabad from Multan jail.

About Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) agreement with the government, the minister said as per clauses of the pact, neither the government nor TLP had anything to do with the review petition

on Aasia Bibi’s acquittal in the Supreme Court or placing her name on the Exit Control List (ECL), adding that it was a responsibility of the petitioners.

“The petitioners would plead before the apex court for placing Aasia on the ECL and the government would abide by the Supreme Court’s decision, ” he clarified.

Regarding Hamza Shehbaz’s notification as chairman Public Accounts Committee (PAC), he said how Hamza Shehbaz could be appointed its chairman while he himself was involved in various cases of corruption besides his father Shehbaz Sharif and brother-in-law Ali Imran.

He said Ali Imran’s front man Naveed Ikram had entered into a plea-bargain with National Accountability Bureau (NAB) besides making stupendous revelations about the corruption of the Sharifs.

He said NAB had undeniable proofs of corruption against Saad Rafique and others.

Referring to the alleged highhandedness and corruption by Hamza Shehbaz to establish his hegemony in the poultry industry, he called Hamza and others a ‘poultry mafia’, adding that Hamza Shehbaz destroyed smaller businessmen in the poultry business during the past 10 years in power and made the industry his slave by hook or by crook.

To another query, Chohan said that former minister Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan was the front-man of Hamza Shehbaz – leader of the poultry mafia, adding that he was assigned the task of holding a press conference against Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.

Punjab Information Minister claimed that former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi looted billion of rupees as chairman PIA, and he was also involved in misappropriation of national wealth in the LNG deal.

To a query, he said Abbasi would have to either enter into a plea-bargain with NAB or go to Adiala jail.

“It did not suit a person like Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to criticise Prime Minister Imran Khan and his public welfare policies. ”