ISLAMABAD, May 28 (APP):Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said on
Thursday the government has tackled COVID-19 in an organized manner
and its strategy against pandemic was moving in the right direction.

Addressing a press conference here, the minister said soon Pakistan would
come out of the difficult period under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister
Imran Khan.
He said the government was reviewing the situation emerging out of the
coronavirus on daily basis and taking steps to deal it effectively.
Shibli said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was very clear to protect both lives
and livelihood as the continued lockdown would have badly affected
daily wage workers.

The model of complete lockdown had failed almost all
over the world and there was no plan under consideration to adopt it, he added.
He said that the masses will have to show responsibility
and adopt social distancing by following Standard Operating Procedures
(SOPs). The situation in Pakistan was far better than
neighbouring India and many other countries as death rate here was far
less than other countries, he added.

The minister said Yaum eTakbeer was the day to remember 1998 nuclear
blasts but it was also a day for the renewal of pledge that with
commitment and determination the nation could achieve any
goal. He said that Pakistan believes 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 Rs 484 billion
to Independent Power Producers 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 PML-N showed that they do not believe in
“scoring singles”, rather they want to “hit sixes” and Dar hit a six
by issuing Rs 484 billion through single cheque.

Shibli Faraz said that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as loyal worker of Sharif
family patronized the sugar mafia which was led by Salman Shahbaz, the
son of Shahbaz Sharif . He said while giving subsidy,
various steps were neglected to benefit the Sharif family. The
subsidy in itself was not a bad thing but its benefit should go to
the farmers and not sugar barons, he remarked.

About the locust attack, he said that this phenomenon had appeared
after 27 years but the government had made full preparations to tackle
it. He said that National Locust Control Cell was being established to
face this challenge. He said that presently locust was present in five
divisions of Punjab and some areas of Baluchistan and Dera Ismail Khan
in KPK. Shibli Faraz said that there was a threat of another locust
attack on Pakistan from Africa in early July. However he said that
preparations were done to tackle the situation as ample pesticides
were available and six planes were available for fighting locust.
Three more planes would be available by July 15, he said. The government
was ready to meet the situation if any flood emergency situation arises during
monsoon .

Replying to questions, the minister dispelled the
impression that the federal government had a discriminatory policy
towards Sindh and said that Prime Minister Imran Khan always
thought of and cared about entire Pakistan.
The minister said it was unfortunate that PPP played a negative role with regards to
COVID-19, and now in relation to locus attack. He alleged that Sindh
government was politicizing the locust crisis, in order to defame the
federal government and to cover up its own failures. Shibli Faraz said
that PTI cannot ignore Sindh as it would form the government in the
province after next general election, as PPP had been confined
to Larkana.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, he said, used to attend the NCOC
meetings and agreed to the decisions but later indulged in
political point scoring as their policy on locust had failed, like
coronavirus.

He said that people of Sindh were brothers and close to
the heart of PTI leadership which had won 14 seats from Karachi.

About the government’s tough stand on the sugar mafia and
its allies the minister said that the allies would remain part of the government
God willing and it would complete its tenure. However, he added there would be
no compromise on principles, which was not the case in the past and
and this pushed back the country as well as those political parties.

For Imran Khan, he said, it was more important to see what was in the
best interest of the country and people, adding to take care
of the daily wagers, labourers and small shopkeepers or those who work
in private firms were his priority.

About PML-N and its leadership claiming credit of making
country a nuclear power, 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 written and Gohar Ayub, Omar Ayub’s father was also part of
the then government and his book was also in the market.

Shibli said the history was witness to it, what and how it
happened. He said that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had a great role in
making Pakistan a nuclear power and Ghulam Ishaq Khan as President
withstood pressures and took things forward. He said that Sharifs claim
in making Pakistan a nuclear power was like eating a baked cake. He
questioned, “Should we give the credit to those who prepared the cake or those
who ate it?.”
To another question he said those who were doing politics on coronavirus and locust
attack were in fact trying to hide their mega corruption cases.