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Sheikh Rashid claims he convinced Nawaz Sharif to conduct atomic tests

ISLAMABAD: Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid has claimed that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was reluctant to conduct the nuclear atomic tests due to fear of sanctions, and it was he along with two other ministers who convinced him.

The revelation was made by the AML chief, who then then part of the Pakistan Muslim League, during an interview to ARY News. Sheikh Rashid said that he, along with Raja Zarfarul Haq and Gohar Ayub, convinced Nawaz Sharif to conduct the successful atomic tests in 1998.

“They (Sharifs) claim to have conducted the atomic tests. This is untrue. The atomic tests were conducted by Sheikh Rashid, and Raja Zarfarul Haq and Gohar Ayub,” he said.

“I challenge the entire cabinet. If they deny it then they are not speaking the truth,” he claimed. “They were not even speaking due to fear of sanctions. I told him not waste the opportunity.”

When asked if there was coincidence that the noose is tightened against successive government when they are in power, Sheikh Rashid said that unfortunately none of them come on merit or had any political experience.

Consequently, he said the successive governments including the Sharifs embarked on a campaign of corruption, patronising policemen and patwaris (revenue officers) in Lahore.

“They have no national role. They have not done any image building. In fact, there is not a single thing which they claim to have achieved.”

Abbasi never accepted Dar as his finance minister

Sheikh Rashid also claimed that prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abassi never accepted Ishaq Dar as his finance minister, and was only convinced by Nawaz Sharif.

“From day one, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi didn’t want to have Dar as his finance minister. He was only insisted by Nawaz Sharif,” he said.

He claimed that Ishaq Dar was instead sent away by the Sharif family in the prime minister’s aircraft, and that Abbasi never had a liking for him.

The embattled finance minister is currently facing a plethora of corruption references, and is also a suspect in the Hudaibiya case, when Sheikh Rashid termed as the ‘mother of all crimes’ saying that no one in the Sharif family can escape from it.

He said that there are no consequences of Nawaz Sharif’s ouster, and infact it is more ‘peaceful and relaxed.’ He said Sharif’s next course of action will be known after his address in Abbottabad.

He also alleged that Ishaq Dar awarded contract as part of the CPEC after receiving commissions at this son’s buildings in Dubai, while even Abbasi came to power due to kickbacks in the LNG scam.

He said that Dar heavily indebted the nation in the last four years, piling debt worth more than thirty-five billion dollars, and it was imperative that the consequences of this should be realised.



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