–Govt urges ECP to probe foreign funding of all political parties
–Babar Awan to hold press conference today to remove ‘misconception’ regarding foreign funding case
–PM meets Buzdar, hints at changes in Punjab administration
–Govt to approach OIC against desecration of Holy Quran in Norway
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday raised questions over the way the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was treating its foreign case as it urged the latter to hold all political parties accountable with regard to funds being transferred from overseas.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting of PTI’s core committee, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the opposition was using television shows to propagate a “baseless and false propaganda” about the foreign funding case.
She said that the core committee meerting chaired by Prime Minister Imran expressed apprehensions over the issue and it has been decided to bring facts before the public through the media as the opposition parties were trying to mislead people.
She said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the legal team of the party to present facts about the party’s case in order to curb “disinformation and fake news”. In this regard, Babar Awan, who heads the party’s legal team, will hold a press conference on Monday.
“PTI pioneered the art of generating funds from the general public and it spearheaded electoral and political reforms in the system,” she claimed, adding that the Pakistani diaspora considered PTI a “saviour of Pakistan”.
“If Pakistani companies and diaspora support the party it cannot be called foreign funding,” she added.
Firdous said that the party has no objection in going through the legal process of the ECP because it would only ensure its credibility, dignity and rule of law and justice. She stressed that there were serious allegations against other parties and the electoral watchdog should hold hearings. The commission should carry out an audit of the political parties, she added.
The special assistant said that the premier wanted to ensure the independence of the ECP in order to strengthen it as an institution.
She also took a jibe at the opposition lawmakers for demanding daily hearings of the case, saying they were making a hue and cry that the ECP did not hold the polls in a free and fair manner, but now they wanted the commission to hold daily hearings of the PTI funding case.
Firdous said that people come and go but institutions were there to stay and nobody should act in a hurry. “Why is the opposition in a hurry to get a decision against a political party?” she asked.
GOVT TO APPROACH OIC:
According to details, the core committee, in its meeting, decided to approach the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) against the desecration of the Holy Quran by few individuals in Norway.
The PM directed Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to write to OIC to highlight the issue at the international forum. He said that such activities against Islam will not be “tolerated by the entire Muslim community”.
It is pertinent to mention here that on Friday, a man named Lars Thorsen, who belonged to the anti-Islamic group Stop the Islamisation of Norway (SIAN), attempted to burn the Holy Quran in the Muslim-majority Norwegian city of Kristiansand, but was stopped by a man.
The police later arrested both the attacker and the perpetrator.
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries & Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said that Pakistan’s furniture industry was performing well, however, the duty structure needs improvement in order to improve the country’s furniture exports.
Dawood told the premier that the country’s exchange rate against dollar has improved and stabilised and for the first time in the past few years, Pakistan’s current account deficit had turned into surplus. He also told him that the projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) umbrella were heading in the right direction.
The premier and the attendees also exchanged views on the country’s political and economic situation. The core committee decided that the party will focus on implementing its manifesto in order to realise the government’s vision.
The core committee also discussed administrative issues in Punjab, on which some members expressed concerns over the way things were being dealt with in the province. After the meeting, PM Imran held a meeting with CM Punjab Usman Buzdar and directed him to bring administrative changes in the province.
Earlier in the day, the party directed all members of the core committee to ensure their attendance in the meeting held to analyse political and economic situation of the country.
NEW LG SYSTEM:
Meanwhile, in his remarks on social media, the prime minister said that the government is introducing a local government system which will ensure provision of funds to villages, Radio Pakistan reported on Sunday.
He said that Pakistan Clean and Green Index will be launched on Monday to make every city of the country green and clean. According to facilities, the ranking is being arranged of 19 cities, he added.
He also said Pakistan has been put on the right path and now dollars are pouring in for the first time. “For the first time in the last four years, the current account deficit has become surplus,” he concluded.