Federal ministers Shibli Faraz and Fawadh Chaudhry addressing a presser in Islamabad on March 14, 2021. PHOTO: PID

Ministers lambast opposition’s anti-state rhetoric

Whatever Javed Latif was made to say has caused anger among the masses, says Fawad Chaudhry

Our Correpondent March 14, 2021

Federal ministers Shibli Faraz and Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday condemned the anti-state rhetoric by the opposition after their loss in the election of Senate chairman and deputy chairman last week, stressing that the government’s mandate must be respected.

At a news conference, Information Minister Shibli and Science and Technology Minister Fawad emphasised that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has two narratives –accountability and transparency – in the elections.

They likened the politics of former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif to that of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) founder, warning that those who try to become like the MQM founder should also know the consequences.

“The PDM [Pakistan Democratic Movement] is a group in which the [constituent] parties do not get along with each other,” Shibli said. “There are differences among them over the resignations [from assemblies] and the [proposed] long march [against the government].”

In the Senate election, the minister said, it was proved that the PML-N stabbed the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the back while the PPP stabbed Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s JUI-F [Jamiat Ulema-e-Isam-Fazl] in the back.

Read PDM mulls strategy after Senate shock

He was referring to the success of the government-backed candidates Sadiq Sanjrani against PPP’s Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in the chairman’s election and Mirza Afridi against Maulana Ghafoor Haideri in the contest for deputy chairmanship.

Shibli said that the opposition leaders were seeing their political demise after the prime minister winning the vote of confidence in the National Assembly and the success of the government-backed candidates in the elections in Senate.

Chaudhry said that at present, only the PTI has representation in all the four provinces of Pakistan, whereas the PPP and the PML-N had become regional parties. “Similarly, all the provinces are represented in the PTI government,” he added.

He said both the opposition parties were bent upon violating the Charter of Democracy their leaders, Benaizr Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, had signed. He advised the opposition not to hand over their politics to ‘political minors’.

“[PML-N Vice President] Maryam [Nawaz] and [PPP Chairman] Bilawal [Bhutto Zardari] have no experience in politics,” the science and technology minister said. “There are senior people in these parties, who should take charge of policy making,” he added.

About the PDM’s proposed long march, the two ministers called on the 11-party opposition alliance to postpone the march and talk to the government on electoral reforms. “We want the next elections to be transparent,” Fawad said.

“Our party has two narratives – one is accountability and the other is transparent election,” Chaudhry said. In September, he added the cabinet had approved electoral reforms and constitutional amendments, which were introduced in the National Assembly.

Shibli said that the severity of the coronavirus pandemic was increasing once again, as around 3,000 new cases were being recorded every day. He stressed the importance of adopting precautionary measures against the disease.

He also said that the government’s vaccination drive was under way and “the frontline health workers and citizens over the age of 65 are getting the jabs”, adding: “The SOPs [standard operating procedures] have to be followed and there is nothing more important than life.”

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had saved both jobs and human lives through the strategy. “Major economies have been badly affected by the global epidemic but our successful strategy yielded better results,” he said. “Our achievements have been appreciated by the world.”

Shibli said that now the economy has entered in a phase of stability. “Businesses are going up,” he added. In response to a question, Chaudhry said that under the guise of spy camera, the opposition senators Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar and Mussadik Malik have damaged the electrical wiring of the Senate.




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