A huge sugar and wheat crisis emerged back in January, which caused the administration and public a great deal as the prices went high. Contrary to the situation, the Punjab Flour Mills Association claimed that there was no such crisis in the country. In contrast, the governments’ representatives termed it as propaganda against the leadership. Also, the government promised to take action against the individuals accountable for the dilemma.
For complete monitoring of the present situation, two teams forged under the surveillance of Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Wajid Zia, carried out an inquiry apropos the crisis and submitted their reports to PM for perusal.
On April 5, being under pressure of colossal criticism, which pointed out that the government’s allies are involved in the setback, Prime Minister Imran Khan disclosed the investigation report. He tweeted, “as promised preliminary reports into sudden price hikes of sugar and wheat have been released immediately without alteration/tampering. This is unprecedented in Pakistan’s history previous political leaderships because of their vested interests and compromises lacked the moral courage to order and release such reports.”
The FIA’s supplementary report revealed that PTI’s stalwart Jahangir Tareen, Food Minister Khusro Bakhtiyar’s brother, and PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi are among the major beneficiaries of the sugar crisis. As a result, on the same day, sources suggest that Jahangir Tareen was removed from his designation as the Chairman of Pakistan’s Agriculture Task Force. Still, he denied the speculation saying that he never was a part of such task force in the first place.
Regarding the wheat crisis, the report declared that the disaster took place due to the Punjab Food Department’s weak policy regarding the proper management of the respective affairs that led to failure in controlling the flour mills.
Taking into account the present situation, Chairman NAB Justice (R) Javed Iqbal has approved to initiate a probe into the ongoing sugar, wheat crisis. Sources announced that NAB would take action after the disclosure of FIA’s final report, “the legal wing of NAB will review final reports of FIA on the wheat and sugar crisis and launch an independent inquiry against those who are responsible for shortage and increase in prices of these basic household necessities.”
FIA’s final report, along with the forensic analysis, is expected on April 25. The Prime Minister asseverated in a tweet, “ I await the detailed forensic reports now by the high-powered commission, which will come out on April 25, before taking action. In Sha Allah, after these reports come out, no powerful lobby will be able to profiteer at the expense of our public.”
BY: ZARNAB FATIMA RANA