Fawad Chaudhry:Minister for Information and Broadcasting Division Fawad Chaudhry on Monday announced the newly sworn in cabinet’s decision to place former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz’s names on the Exit Control List as part of the government’s anti-corruption drive.
Both Maryam and Sharif are currently serving a prison sentence in Adiala jail after they were convicted in a corruption reference regarding their Avenfield properties in London.
The cabinet, in its first meeting on Monday, has also decided to approach the courts in the United Kingdom so that the Avenfield properties can be sold by the state, Chaudhry said.
He further said that the government will also take measures to bring back Sharif’s sons, Hasan and Hussain Nawaz, as well as former finance minister Ishaq Dar to the country as they were “absconding criminals of the state”. All three of them are named in corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau and have been declared as absconders by an accountability court.
Th Law Ministry and the Interior Ministry have been directed to act upon the red warrants that were issued last month, he said.
Addressing Sharif’s claim that he personally bore the Prime Minister House’s expenses, Chaudhry said that the building’s expenses are part of the national budget.
He further said that if Sharif’s claim was true, he should produce his income tax statement.
Prime minister not to go on foreign tours for the next 3 months
The cabinet also decided that Prime Minister Imran Khan will not go on on any foreign tours for the next three month “unless there is a pressing matter that needs to be addressed”. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will represent the country on international platforms.
Chaudhry also announced the government’s decision to restrict ministers’ foreign trips that are paid for by the national exchequer.
As part of its austerity drive, the government has also decided to restrict the expenditures of ministers. The state will not pay for ministers’ medical checkups that are held abroad, Chaudhry said.
The government will also form two committees to decide which state buildings can be used for public benefit. A committee — to be headed by Minister for National History and Literary Heritage Division Shafqat Mehmood — will be formed to determine how to utilise buildings such as governor houses and other state buildings so that they can benefit the people but do not lose their historical importance.
Another committee headed by Finance Minister Asad Umar will decide how to use “general properties”, such as the residences of commissioners, inspector generals and other government officials.
In response to a question regarding the upcoming presidential election, Chaudhry expressed hope that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s candidate Arif Alvi will “comfortably win” the race.