Of all things: Qureshi slams PM for cancelling US visit

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Parliamentary Leader of PTI in the National Assembly and veteran politician Shah Mehmood Qureshi criticised the decision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to cancel his visit of the United States in the wake of the deadly bombing in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park.

“The nuclear summit being held in America in which Nawaz Sharif was also supposed to participate is a conference of international repute and the prime minister made a mistake from the foreign policy point of view in canceling his tour.”

Qureshi, who was the foreign minister in the PPP-led government, told Pakistan Today Editor Arif Nizami in his Channel 24 programme DNA that all the world leaders would be participating in the summit except for Pakistan, which is among the few countries that have nuclear power.

He was of the view that PTI is increasing its vote bank as can be witnessed by the two recently held by-elections of NA-154 and NA-101. In NA-154, PTI defeated the ruling party in Lodhran. He said the party had also won the election in NA-101 Gujranwala but the result had been tampered to ensure their defeat. Qureshi said Imran Khan’s PTI will definitely win the next general election of 2018.

The PTI leader said the farmer community has rejected the so-called Kissan Package announced by the government as it was nothing more than a political gimmick.

“The government must decrease the General Sales Tax (GST) from 17 to 6 per cent on agricultural inputs to promote the sector,” Qureshi said, who is also the Chairman of Farmers Association of Pakistan. He added that Kalabagh Dam is economically a viable project but politically it is a failure, as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan will fight it vehemently.

Talking about the intra-party election of PTI, he said the elections are the beauty of democracy and he will strive to make PTI a truly democratic party.

“I will oppose money and rich people in the party with everything I’ve got,” Qureshi said.