Fazl should start ‘rent a crowd’ service: Fawad

Information minister invites opposition for talks on reforms

APP October 19, 2021

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday said JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman should start a ‘rent a crowd’ service for political parties as the latter’s ‘political career had completely ended’.

“Maulana Sahab is nothing more than Chala Hua Kartoos (spent cartridge),” he said in a media talk while chiding Fazl over bringing the students of different seminaries at the multi-party opposition alliance – the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) ’s public meeting of Faisalabad.

The minister alleged that Fazl, who is also the PDM head, had already been used for crowding political gatherings in the past and now he had no importance in the political arena.

“The JUI-F chief just wants to be politically relevant by making non-serious statements,” Fawad said in response to a query.

“The nation did not take serious to those who always indulged in political gimmicks,” he said while referring to undue criticism of the government by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leaders – including Ahsan Iqbal and Shehbaz Sharif.

The opposition was left with no option, but to cry foul all the time, he claimed, while pointing to their apparent practice of looking for excuses to protest against the government.

Fawad said that prices of different commodities – including wheat and flour – had been brought down, while a visible reduction in sugar price was also being expected due to bumper crop of the sugarcane.

The price of wheat flour was only high in Sindh due to delay on the part of the provincial government for its release, he claimed, adding that from Monday, the Sindh government had started releasing the commodity and it was being hoped that its prices would decline soon in the province.

“We are not living on another planet. If the price of [crude] oil will go up across the world, it will also go upward in Pakistan and if there will be a decline in its prices [globally], the same will happen in Pakistan as well,” he reiterated.

The minister asked the opposition leaders to come forward and hold a discussion with the government if they had any worthwhile solution to the problem of global hike in petroleum prices.

He regretted that the opposition boycotted the National Assembly session despite knowing that the day was dedicated to having speeches on Seerat-un-Nabi. “There should be limitations for everything and there is no need to do politics on everything,” he added.

Read More: Fawad terms fake news ‘greatest challenge’ for media

The minister alleged that the opposition always looked for an excuse to hold protests (against the government). “They [opposition] were thinking that there were some differences between the government and security institutions but now their euphoria was gradually fading away,” he added.

He said the opposition always talked about democratic credentials but they had no such things in their account rather to always “seek a deal” to evade accountability.

Taking a further jibe at opposition leaders, Fawad alleged that they quickly stood ready with their curriculum vitae to jump on the bandwagon once they assumed that there were differences between the government and the state intuitions. “But, when they came to know that they were not going to get any relief in their corruption cases from the government, their guns suddenly turned towards the state institutions,” the minister said.

Basically, the opposition, he alleged was not only devoid of political thinking but also lacked administrative and economic policies.

“The opposition could not come into power by criticising Prime Minister Imran Khan all along; rather they should do some introspection and revise their policies,” Fawad said.

He once again invited the opposition to work with the government for bringing reforms, including the electoral ones.

The minister ruled out the possibility of having any discussion with the opposition on their corruption cases.

To a query, he said there were multiple commodities including wheat and electricity on which subsidy was being given. “The entire country cannot be run on subsidy.”

“The debt worth $12 billion would have to be repaid this year and the opposition should be asked if they have not taken such huge amount of loans, several items could have been subsidized,” he bemoaned.

Earlier, he inaugurated a three-day calligraphy exhibition of artist Wasil Shahid. The exhibition would be concluded on Wednesday.

Fawad said that calligraphy art was basically associated with Muslims and Islam. This was the month of Rabiul Awwal and the government had already declared the ongoing Ashra in the name of Rehmatul-lil Alameen (SAW) and Prime Minister Imran Khan was going to address the “biggest conference” in that regard on Tuesday.


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