Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib Wednesday asked the convicted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership to shun ‘political duplicity’ and show courage to return home and face the corruption cases spiraling from the Panama Papers. Addressing a press conference, he said the Islamabad High Court was hearing their appeals in the Avenfield Apartments case, but the PML-N leadership was not willing to return to the country. They knew that they had nothing to prove their “innocence” in crimes like money laundering, except a ‘Qatari letter’ and a fake deed written in Calibri font. The minister said it was a public knowledge that PML-N leader Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was convicted by the anti-graft trial court in the Avenfield Apartments reference. He had gone abroad for eight weeks after getting bail from the court on medical grounds, but “he is still at large despite the passage of one and a half years”, he added. “If he (Nawaz Sharif) is really serious about appeals, then why does he not come back to Pakistan to face the trial?” he questioned. Farrukh Habib said the court had declared Nawaz Sharif an absconder after following a due process. The nation had witnessed that the summons were served at their residence in London, he added. He said accountability was part and parcel of democracy, and the nation knew that it was Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had launched a movement against corruption even before coming into power. Prior to that, there was no debate on such a critical issue as the then rulers (PML-N) were only interested to dictate and blackmail the judges to get the decisions of their own choice, he alleged. The minister said it was an open secret now that Shehbaz Sharif dictated Justice (retd) Qayyum on phone for the decision of a case and its audio recording was still available on the social media networking sites. Farrukh said Maryam Nawaz should better refrain from lecturing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on ‘independence of judiciary’ as she herself was the ‘director’ of ‘Mujy Kun Nikala’ (Why was I ousted) movement launched by her father against the judiciary after getting disqualified in the Panama Papers scandal. He said several PML-N’s members of the Parliament were disqualified by the courts for carrying forward the anti-judiciary narrative of his party leader. The minister said the PML-N was in the habit of accepting only those court decisions which came in their favour. “Now they have to surrender themselves before the rule of law.” He asked as to why Nasir Butt’s video of late Justice Arshad Malik leaked by the PML had not been submitted to the court as a proof. “It seems that someone hesitated to use it as evidence due to certain reasons,” he added. As regards the PML-N’s criticism on the load-shedding, he said the PML-N committed a heinous crime by signing expensive agreements with independent power producers (IPPs) and that too were on take or pay basis. The present government, he added, was bound to pay an amount of Rs 1,500 billion as capacity charges to the IPPs by 2023. The PML-N should apologize to the nation for signing such expensive agreements with the power producing companies, he remarked. Farrukh Habib regretted that the PML-N while in government had not built even a single dam or made any investment to improve the power transmission network. It was the present government, which had enhanced the transmission capacity from 18,000 to 27,000 megawatts, he added. The minister said the PML-N’s ranks and files were in total disarray because of internal rifts among the leadership. On the one hand, Shehbaz Sharif wanted to pursue the path of reconciliation while his niece Maryam opted for the politics of confrontation. At the same time, they were feeding lies to the media in a bid to keep their infighting under warp, he added. He said the government did not care about the empty threats of opposition parties, which were now following different paths and indulged in blame games against one another. However, they all had a common agenda of an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance), but the government would give them no such concession, he added. He said Pakistan’s projected economic growth was at 4 percent due to the prudent policies of the present government, adding the current account remained US $1 billion surplus during the ongoing financial year, exports surged by 13.5 per cent, remittances crossed US $24 billion, large-scale manufacturing grew by nine percent, and one billion dollars were deposited in the Roshan Digital Bank Account.