–CM Murad says conspirators to be dealt with ‘iron fist’
–GDA to oppose any ‘illegitimate change’
–Fawad says PTI government not facing any political challenge
–Naeemul Haque says Opp keeps asking for NRO
ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Prime Minister Imran Khan are all set to visit Sindh on January 15-16 and January 25 respectively to meet with the key opposition figures amid ongoing corruption probe against the top leadership of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
PM Khan will meet ‘like-minded’ political leaders in Sindh and will review matters pertaining to his party. On the invitation of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) leader Ali Gohar Khan Mahar, he will also visit Ghotki district. Before the premier’s visit, the information minister will also hold meetings with the key political leadership of Sindh, including Pir Pagara, Liaquat Jatoi, Zulfiqar Mirza, Fehmida Mirza and Ayaz Palejo.
Fawad had postponed his Sindh visit last month after the apex court’s hearing went against the government’s stance on the ongoing investigations in the fake bank accounts case. Government’s initiative of placing 172 people, who were named in the joint investigation team’s (JIT) report in the case, on the Exit Control List (ECL), had irked Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar. The Supreme Court (SC) had directed the federal cabinet to reconsider placing those 172 individuals on the no-fly list.
The federal and provincial governments are at loggerheads since the government’s decision of placing the top leadership of the ruling party in the province on the no-fly list. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had formed the JIT in the mega money laundering case involving PPP’s top leadership, including Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and provincial Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.
Meanwhile, the provincial chief executive, while speaking to the media in Sukkur on Sunday, warned that those conspiring against the democratic affairs of the province would be dealt with an ‘iron fist’ as no one is allowed to steal the mandate of the provincial government. Commenting about being placed on the no-fly list, he said that although he was not planning on going abroad, if he had to depart for Hajj or go on a pilgrimage to Karbala then nobody would be able to stop him.
GDA TO OPPOSE ‘ILLIGITIMATE CHANGE’:
Addressing a press conference with other leaders of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Pir Sadaruddin Shah Rashidi on Sunday said that they would oppose any “illegitimate in-house change” because they wanted to bring change through a constitutional process.
Pir Sadaruddin, accompanied by Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Ayaz Latif Palijo and Ali Gohar Mahar in Ghotki, said that GDA is the most powerful party in the province and the people have realised that. The organisation of the party will be started from Khan Garh, he added. He also said that GDA would fully participate in a change if it is constitutional in nature but would strongly oppose any “illegitimate change”.
Ayaz Palijo said that provincial government was destroying the agriculture sector by inflicting pain upon farmers and by slashing sugarcane prices. He also supported Pir Sadaruddin’s statement of GDA opposing any “illegitimate change”. Ali Gohar said that he has an old relationship with Pir Pagara. He further added that the people of Ghotki were being ignored.
‘NO POLITICAL CHALLENGE’:
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was not facing any political challenge and the parties led by Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari had met their fate due to bad governance in their respective governments during the past 10 years.
The information minister said that Nawaz Sharif was offered a novel trial. “Nawaz was allowed to proceed to England during the trial while his lawyer was allowed to cross-examine the witnesses for 22 days,” he said. “This kind of treatment has never been meted to anyone in the past. Wali Khan and Faiz Ahmed Faiz were trialled in Attock Fort and closed jail cells but Nawaz Sharif was dealt with in a different way,” he added.
He also said that Shehbaz Sharif is a prisoner in papers, but he lives at home and “can summon prosecutors and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials using his power as the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)”.
The minister said that the government would present finance bill on January 23, which would strengthen the economy and it would contain a lot for the masses to celebrate.
Responding to a question, he said that PM Khan would come up to the expectations of the people. “Just give the PTI government two to three years and you will hail it for the epoch-making reforms undertaken by it,” he said. The nation should have faith in the PTI government, which would not disappoint it, he added.
Fawad said the government would not accept any pressure from the opposition, adding that the premier “does not believe in National Reconciliation Ordinances (NROs)”. Referring to Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif, he said one brother was sent behind the bars for corruption while the other was to follow suit soon.
‘OPPOSITION KEEPS ASKING FOR NRO’:
Special Assistant to Prime Minister Naeemul Haque on Sunday claimed that opposition members have been asking the PTI government for leniency in cases against them.
Speaking to a private TV channel, he said that he has been reiterating this time and time again and claimed that the opposition indeed is asking for amnesty through an NRO.
On Thursday, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said that those claiming that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders have asked for a deal regarding various cases are liars.