‘Govt defending Daily Mail story proves it’s involved’
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb on Sunday said prime minister’s aide Shahzad Akbar responding to her party president Shehbaz Sharif’s legal action against Daily Mail for its “defamatory” story against him clearly indicated that the government was behind the report published in the British publication.
“Why is the government incensed by Shehbaz’s sending a defamation notice to Daily Mail? Shahzad Akbar’s news conference [earlier in the day] is proof that the selected prime minister had this fake story published in the tabloid through him,” she told reporters at the residence of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s aide Irfan Siddiqui.
“The government had claimed that it had nothing to do with the Daily Mail story. Then why is it defending it now by holding a news conference at the state’s expense? Why is it so scared?” she added.
The PML-N spokesperson visited Siddiqui after he was released on bail from Adiala Jail, a day after he was rounded up by police over a tenancy dispute.
Marriyum claimed that Interior Minister Brig (retd) Ijaz Shah had Siddiqui arrested on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“By handcuffing Irfan Siddiqui, the government handcuffed all the teachers, intellectuals, journalists, poets, writers and columnists in the country,” she maintained.
“After the embarrassment the government has faced over Irfan Siddiqui’s arrest, it now wants to divert attention from the issue and that’s why Shehzad Akbar held a news conference about Shehbaz Sharif.”
The PML-N spokesperson said the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had nothing new to offer and relying only hurling allegations.
“The ruling party has been unable to provide any evidence of corruption against [former prime minister] Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif so far,” she added.
“Imran Khan’s vision is limited to removing AC and TV [from the prison cell of Nawaz]. Such a person is a coward and bound to resort to dirty tactics.