Pakistan

PML-N’s Riaz Pirzada says IB letter is genuine

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada on Monday said the alleged letter of Intelligence Bureau (IB) was genuine and not forged, ARY News reported.

“Media has every right to criticise a politician and that does not bother me, but the letter was written by a government institute and the government should elucidate on it,” he said exclusively talking to ARY News.

ARY News’ anchor Arshad Sharif showed an alleged IB letter on his show’s September 25 and September 27 episodes.

The anchor had alleged that former PM Nawaz Sharif had directed the IB on July 10 to keep watch on the listed legislators, mostly belonging to the PML-N. The list is said to have names of over 37 lawmakers suspected of having links with banned terrorist and sectarian outfits.

The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader lauded ARY News anchor Arshad Sharif for bringing the letter to light.

He said the PML-N would not bring motion in the National Assembly against any media house in this regard.

The minister said let’s assume the letter was fake, then at least the government should embargo it, lest somebody present the letter in the Election Commission of Pakistan or in the Foreign Office.

Expressing concern over consequences of the letter, he said the members of the parliament would be deemed to be terrorists abroad if the letter went out of the country. He said the motive behind the letter was to pressurize parliamentary members.

Read More: IB officer ‘threatens’ Arshad Sharif during Pemra hearing

Riaz Pirzada demanded from Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to withdraw the IB letter.

The alleged IB letter has a list of names of 37 parliamentarians allegedly having links with terrorists.

It is apropos to mention that the IB has registered a case against ARY News and senior anchor Arshad Sharif despite the fact that Islamabad High Court is hearing the case pertaining to airing a report regarding monitoring of PML-N legislators over links with banned groups.

The development is surprising as Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Council of Complaints held a hearing in the case on October 5 but Islamabad High Court restrained the body from acting against ARY News or anchor Arshad Sharif on the very next day and issued a stay order.

IHC will hold the next hearing in the case on October 31.

Read More: Ministers, other treasury members stage walkout over ‘terror links’ IB memo

During the first hearing of the case on October 5, Arshad Sharif claimed that a senior officer of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) also threatened him in presence of regulatory body’s Council of Complaints (CoC) and lawyers.

PEMRA had issued a notification after the hearing that the hearing is being adjourned till October 13.

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