Former rulers spent millions on private visits: Dr Firdous

July 26, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Friday said that the government has decided to receive expenses from former rulers spent from the national exchequer on private tours from 2008 to 2018.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Friday, she said that when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came into power, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was on about to collapse, adding that the national flag career was used as personal property.

She said that the former rulers inflicted a loss of Rs950 million to the national exchequer by using 45 flights of the national airline for personal interests, while 50 VIP flights had been operated from 2012 to 2017 and Rs60 million had been spent on these flights.

Firdous while criticizing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said that when he [Nawaz Sharif] was in London for treatment for several months, a PIA plane was kept in London, adding that millions of rupees had been spent on the aircraft from the national exchequer.

Even the expenses on Hajj and Umrah had been spent from the national exchequer, she said.

The special assistant urged media to adhere to the PEMRA s code of conduct.

Replying a question about proposal of establishing media courts, she said the proposal was put forward by PEMRA for speedy justice and protection of rights of journalists and media workers like other special courts in the country.

Firdous Ashiq Awan said all the stakeholders will be taken on board in this regard and if the media workers rejected setting up of media courts the government will discard the idea.

“The ministry of Information will play a role of facilitators and will not impose any decisions on media,” she said and added Prime Minister Imran Khan has no personal grudge against Nawaz Sharif and the jail manual will be ensured during his imprisonment.

Dr Firdous said that Pakistan needed stability and a suitable environment so that the nation, drowned in debt, could get investment from abroad. “We want to end poverty and unemployment from the country.”

She said PM Imran Khan was making full efforts for restoring the positive identity of the nation and the country and for dispelling the negative propaganda against the country.

“People disassociated themselves from the protest of the opposition on July 25 because it did not have anything to do with their problems,” she added.