Wednesday Oct 21, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Information minister Shibli Faraz accused the Opposition of working on the "enemy's agenda", alleging that they had tried to make institutions clash with one another.
In a hard-hitting press conference on Wednesday, the minister reacted to the Karachi incident involving retired Captain Safdar's arrest, which resulted in senior Sindh Police officers applying to go for leave in protest.
He accused Opposition parties of working on the agenda peddled by anti-Pakistan forces, adding that the government will rid the country of dynastic politics once and for all.
Faraz turned his guns on Bilawal Bhutto, saying that the PPP chairman did not know whom he was rubbing shoulders with. "Those whom you are quite chummy with these days used to say bad things about your elders," he said, referring to the PML-N and the PPP's confrontational politics from a few decades ago.
"These people have stabbed democracy in the back. They are sabotaging the accountability [process]," said the information minister. Referring to Bilawal, he said,"You inherited leadership of your party. You consider Sindh your personal property."
The minister then fired shots at PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz, accusing her of copying former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
"A product of inheritance, Maryam Nawaz considers herself Benazir Bhutto," he said. Taking a jibe at Maryam, he said: "Benazir Bhutto was a literate woman."
Referring to former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Faraz said that his private airline was performing well when the PML-N government was in power while the PIA continued to suffer.
"They do business while using the cover of democracy. Why don't you give answers? Have you come from the heavens?" he asked.
The minister lashed out at former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his recent diatribe against the government and the military leadership. He said that Nawaz makes speeches from abroad "like a coward" and that his whole political career was based on politics of self-interest.
"The prime minister had said many years ago that all crooks will unite [when called to account]. The prime minister was fighting against them while he was in the opposition. How can he not do the same in government?" asked Faraz.
Responding to the Opposition's criticism that the prime minister does not engage with them, Faraz said that that was not the case. "The prime minister is ready to talk [to the Opposition] on every issues except for corruption," he said, reiterating the government's position that no NRO will be given to any political leader.
Faraz said that the Opposition wanted people's memory of them being corrupt to fade away. "The Opposition is on the negative while the prime minister is backing the positive narrative," he said.
The minister said that Opposition leaders who were calling out the government these days, had minted billions and shifted their wealth abroad.
Faraz's press conference came a day after senior Sindh Police officials submitted leave requests in protests against events that led to PML-N leader Captain (retired) Safdar's arrest.
An application signed by AIG Special Branch Imran Yaqoob, which made the rounds on social media, stated that he wished to proceed on leave because the police high command has been “ridiculed and mishandled”, leading to demoralisation within the ranks of Sindh Police.
However, after army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa telephoned Bilawal Bhutto to speak on the issue and ordered an independent inquiry into the incident, the IG Sindh and other senior Sindh police officials deferred their leave requests.
“In such a stressful situation, it is quite difficult for me to discharge my duty in a professional manner,” AIG Imran had said.
He added that he needed 60-day earned leaves to “come out of the shock and settle down”.