PTI leaders paying taxes, bills, says govt

— File Photo AFP
— File Photo AFP
ISLAMABAD: The Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Pervez Rashid, said on Saturday that key leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had abandoned their own ‘civil disobedience movement’ and had been paying taxes and utility bills regularly.
Talking to Dawn, he said PTI chairman Imran Khan and his deputy Shah Mehmood Qureshi had once again paid the electricity bills of their residences in Lahore and Multan.
“Today Shah Mehmood Qureshi Sahab paid six bills amounting to about Rs100,000 in Multan, whereas Imran Khan has already paid the electricity bills of his Zaman Park residence in Lahore,” Mr Rashid said.
Mr Khan, who had given the call for civil disobedience on Aug 18, asking people not to pay taxes and utility bills to force the government to accept PTI’s demands, last month had paid the electricity bills of his Bani Gala residence in Islamabad.
During a speech from atop his container to the participants of his party’s sit-in at D-Chowk in Islamabad on Sept 19, Mr Khan had publicly burnt the electricity bill.
The PTI chief confirmed payment of the bills of his residence in Lahore, but claimed that it had been paid by his brother-in-law who had nothing to do with his party.
“My sister lives in the Zaman Park house in Lahore. Her husband Hafeezullah Niazi has nothing to do with the PTI,” Mr Khan tweeted.
When contacted, Mr Qureshi neither confirmed nor denied the minister’s claim.
“I am in Sindh right now. If the minister is saying that, he would know better,” he said while talking to this reporter by telephone.
Meanwhile, the information minister claimed that Mr Khan was telling a lie by disowning the Lahore residence from where he had started his long march to Islamabad last month.
He also claimed that Mr Khan’s sister had not been living in the house for the past three months after development of differences between her husband and Mr Khan.
The minister said that other PTI leaders had also abandoned the ‘civil disobedience movement’.
He said PTI secretary general Jahangir Tareen had been regularly paying taxes on the products of his factory.
Similarly, former foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri and his family members had also been paying utility bills on a regular basis because not a single branch of his school’s countrywide network had so far been closed due to non-payment of taxes, he said.
“Imran Khan has deceived his party’s workers by paying electricity bills of his Zaman Park residence,” he said and alleged that the PTI leader had burnt “a fake electricity bill” in Islamabad.
Mr Rashid urged Mr Khan to shun the “policy of duplicity” and “double standards in politics”.
Last month, Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif had disclosed that two electricity bills of Rs17,000 and Rs13,000 of Mr Khan’s Bani Gala residence had been paid.
Published in Dawn, September 28th , 2014

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