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Pak Wheat Scam Probe: Evasive Response Of Govt Raises Concerns, Says Report

11:28 AM May 05, 2024 IST | 8PM News Desk
pak wheat scam probe  evasive response of govt raises concerns  says report
Pak wheat scam probe: Evasive response of govt raises concerns, says report

Lahore : The Pakistani government's response to the wheat scam investigation appears to be evasive, despite Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's assurance to safeguard farmers' interests, Dawn reported.

While he has pledged unwavering support for farmers, the federal government's reluctance to thoroughly probe the alleged scam and hold accountable those responsible is palpable.

Heading the fact-finding committee tasked with unravelling irregularities in the wheat import is Cabinet Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal. However, there seems to be an element of hesitancy within the government to engage fully in the investigation, the report noted.
A source within the PML-N revealed Nawaz Sharif's insistence on robust action against the perpetrators, regardless of their political influence. However, there's a noticeable lack of enthusiasm from the current government to involve bodies such as the NAB or FIA in the investigation, despite suggestions, according to Dawn.

Information Minister Attaullah Tarar's dismissal of engaging the NAB or FIA raises eyebrows, especially given the magnitude of the alleged scam, which surpasses PKR 500 million, warranting their involvement according to new laws. The government's cautious approach, attributed to the involvement of the former caretaker government, reflects a reluctance to tread on contentious ground.

Reports suggesting substantial wheat imports under Shehbaz Sharif's administration post-elections have added another layer to the controversy, the report noted. Denials from government officials contradict the allegations, further complicating the situation. Blame for the wheat crisis is shifted to the caretaker government, distancing the current administration from any culpability.

Adding to the confusion are reports of the summoning of former caretaker officials by the fact-finding committee, which were swiftly denied by its head, Kamran Ali Afzal.

Tensions continue to escalate within the PML-N, with Hanif Abbasi confronting former caretaker premier Anwaarul Haq Kakar over the wheat scandal. Kakar's veiled threats hint at underlying political manoeuvring, adding intrigue to the unfolding drama. The PTI seized the opportunity to push for a judicial commission, capitalising on the discord within the opposition camp.

Amidst the chaos, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif strived to reassure farmers of his unwavering support.

His formation of a committee to address farmers' grievances demonstrates a proactive stance, aiming to alleviate concerns regarding wheat procurement, Dawn reported.

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