ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz on Thursday said those who could not stand by their own narrative cannot be faithful to the nation.
The minister said Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is the guarantor of safety and security of the country as well its people. In a tweet in connection with Youm-e-Takbeer, he said it was on this day that the country got the distinction of becoming the first nuclear power of the Islamic world. He added the national dignity and security was supreme and the nation was united for the defence and development of the country.
Shibli said that there were efforts and hard work of a generation behind making Pakistan a nuclear state. The minister said that the PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz should not link the work of a generation with her family. “The nation is fully aware of the party leadership, which always left its workers alone whilst taking the escape route”.
He alleged the PML-N leadership remained loyal only to the wealth, not the homeland. He said Avenfield and other properties were a clear manifestation of it. He added that the ‘images of loyalty’ could be seen throughout the world in the shape of Avenfield and other assets.
“The nation will never forgive those, who deprived the nation’s children of a bright future for the sake of their own children,” he charged. Meanwhile, at a press conference, Shibli Faraz said that his party would form government in Sindh after the next general elections, as PPP had already been confined to Larkana.
The minister dispelled the impression that the federal government had a discriminatory policy towards Sindh and asserted that Prime Minister Imran Khan always thought of and cared about entire Pakistan. “Imran Khan does not differentiate between his party, allies or opposition when it comes to framing of policies,” he maintained. He said the PML-N believed in hitting ‘sixes’ in corruption and not ‘singles’ while Shahid Khaqan Abbasi patronised the sugar mafia.
“People of Sindh are our brothers and close to our heart; and we have won 14 seats from Karachi. None should say this that we ignore Sindh, which indeed is part of Pakistan,” the minister said.
About the government’s tough stand on the sugar mafia and its allies might part ways with it, the minister said that the allies would remain part of the government and the government would complete its five years term. However, he added that there would be no compromise on facts, which was not the case in the past and compromises used to be made owing to political compulsions and this pushed back those political parties as well as the country.
“Now, for Imran Khan, it is more important to see what is in the best interest of the country and people. The wealthy keep on saying the entire country be shut due to the virus, as they face no problem. But the real challenge is to take care of the daily wagers, labourers and small shopkeepers or those who work in private firms,” he said.
About PML-N and its leadership taking credit for making Pakistan nuclear, he said that he would like Energy Minister Omar Ayub to place facts about the matter; how were decisions made and what was their (PML-N) position thereon. He pointed out that a lot had been said and books also written and Gohar Ayub, Omar Ayub’s father, was also there (in the government).
“History is witness to it; what happened and how it happened. The PPP, the party of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, has been confined to Larkana and Ghulam Ishaq Khan withstood pressures and took things forward and for them (Sharifs) it is like eating a baked cake. Should we talk of the one who ate it or who prepared it,” he said.
On the challenge of the virus, he said that the government was fully prepared to cope with the coronavirus crisis and soon Pakistan would come out of the difficult period under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The minister said the government’s strategy to deal with the virus was moving in the right direction and the government has managed COVID-19 in an organised manner.
He pointed out that the government was reviewing the situation emerging out of the coronavirus on daily basis and undertaking all out steps to tackle it effectively and that Prime Minister Imran Khan was very clear as he wanted to save the lives as well as keep the wheel of economy moving as the continued lockdown would have resulted in starvation of daily wage workers. The model of lockdown, he noted, had failed almost all over the world and there was no plan under consideration to revert to lockdown. He said that the masses would have to show responsibility and adopt social distancing by following standard operating procedures (SOPs). He said that, situation in Pakistan was far better than neighbouring India and many other countries as death rate here was far less than other countries.
The minister said Youm-e-Takbeer was the day not only to remember the nuclear blasts of 1998, but it also day of renewal of the pledge that with commitment and determination the Pakistani nation could achieve any goal. He said that Pakistan believed in peaceful coexistence in the region but its desire for peace should not be considered its weakness.
He said that when Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz came to power in 2013, its finance minister Ishaq Dar, who escaped from the country in connivance with Shahid Khaqan Abassi in 2018, issued Rs484 billion to the independent power producers (IPPs) and these details have been unearthed by Senator Mohsin Aziz and Auditor General has also pointed out all the irregularities with facts and figures. He said that track record of the PML-N showed that they do not believe in ‘scoring singles rather they wanted to ‘hit sixes and Dar hit a six by issuing Rs484 billion through one cheque. Shibli Faraz alleged that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as a loyal worker of Sharif family patronised the sugar mafia, which was led by Salman Shahbaz, the son of Shahbaz Sharif as ‘Sugar Daddy’.
The minister continued that giving subsidy, various steps were put aside to benefit the Sharif family. He added that subsidy in itself was not a bad thing but its benefit should go to the farmers and not sugar barons.
Agencies add: Punjab Information Minister Punjab Fayyazul Hassan Chohan lambasted the PML-N for what he termed claiming false credit for making Pakistan a nuclear Muslim state.
In a statement, he said the credit for country’s nuclear capability was due to former Prime Minister Zulifkar Ali Bhutto, General Ziaul Haq, Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, adding that Nawaz Sharif and PML-N cannot lay claim to giving Pakistan nuclear status.
He said the nuclear capability was a fruit of economic hardships faced by the nation during the 1980s to attain nuclear capability, adding that the Sharifs paid mere Rs200 to Rs500 tax during this time and how could these “looters of national wealth” could claim to have contributed to the making of the atomic bomb.
Chohan claimed that Nawaz Sharif was against nuclear tests and did his best to persuade the civil and military establishment in the country on the financial benefits of not going nuclear, adding that the fact has been admitted by former foreign minister Gohar Ayub and Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan in their books and interviews.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill criticised the opposition parties for doing politics on the national important issues. He said the opposition parties were playing politics on the coronavirus outbreak to achieve political mileage. He urged them to do constructive politics by giving recommendations as how to successfully contain the pandemic.
Talking to a private news channel, he urged the opposition leaders to hold sensible talks and avoid using non-parliamentary language against their opponents during press conferences.
“In fact, the opposition leaders were involved in massive corruption by looting the national exchequer ruthlessly and the government was committed to recover such amount from them,” he added. He said the convicted looters cannot be made national heroes by telling lies.