MULTAN, Dec 29 (APP):Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi Sunday said the ordinance amending the law pertaining to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was neither an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) nor aimed at hiding corruption.
Talking to media persons after attending the Qul Khawani of the mother of religious scholar Shafqat Bhutta here at Daulat Gate, he said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had zero tolerance for corruption.
The opposition parties, he said, were making an undue criticism over the NAB ordinance as it was their routine trend to criticise every step taken by the government.
He said the same opposition leaders were earlier demanding amendments in the NAB laws but now they had resorted to criticism without even going through the new ordinance, he added.
He said the businessmen community were disturbed to strict NAB laws, which ultimately was adversely affecting the country’s economy. Some businessmen and government officials people were held by the NAB authorities due to procedural flaws, which had also put others in state of fear.
The procedural lapses had now been done away in the amended NAB ordinance and the businessmen should work without any fear, he added.
Qureshi said the Pakistan Peoples Party had also been demanding amendments in the NAB laws. The opposition parties better talk to the government and present their recommendations to further improve the law instead of doing criticism, he added.
The government, however, would not allow any misuse of public money, he said. There were other institutions to deal with tax evasion and some other issues, he added.
Responding to a question about India’s Citizen Amendment Act (CAA), Foreign Minister said the whole world was noticing the recent development in the neighbouring country.
Protest demonstrations were being held not only across India but also in the capitals of important countries. The Modi government’s ideology of Hindutva had been exposed before the world.
The Indian government hid its brutalities in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir through information blackout but it could not conceal the public protests in its cities, which were jointly held by Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits and other communities, he added.
Even chief ministers of five Indian states, he said, refused to impose the CAA. The Indians today were divided into two, one section was supporting secularism while the other was working for imposing the extremist Hindutva ideology.
He said former Indian minister Chidambaram had also termed the CAA against the constitution of India and hopefully the Indian Supreme Court would strike it down. Some 25 persons died while hundreds of peaceful citizens were arrested by the Indian police for opposing the CAA, he added.
Qureshi said the CAA had in fact exposed the real face of Modi government, damaging the country’s image internationally.
To a query about the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK), the minister stated that the Modi government was not expecting any reaction from IOJK people. Even those Kashmir leaders, who has supported India in the past, were also expressing concerns now over Indian government’s actions.
Qureshi apprehended that India might launch a false-flag operation along the Line of Control to divert the world’s attention from its internal situation and that in the IOJK. India, he said, had cut border fence at five different points and also installed missiles along the border.
Pakistan, he said, had intimated the United Nations of its concerns mentioning threat to peace and security of the region from India. Some seven letters had been written to the world body for the purpose.
The foreign minister said China had also demanded the UN’s military observers to brief the UN Security Council as it was the latter’s responsibility to take steps for maintaining peace and security in the region.
To another question about the response of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Qureshi observed that the OIC would raise effective voice on IOJK situation. It had already expressed its concerns over human right violations in the valley.
Pakistan, he said, received a positive response that an OIC conference would be convened soon. Pakistan desired that the conference should held in Islamabad, he added.
As regards the Kuala Lumpur Summit, the foreign minister observed that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohammad tried to unite the Muslim Ummah in order to launch socio-economic projects and address issue related to Islamophobia and Pakistan respects his efforts.
He said Pakistan had good relations with all the Muslim countries and would try its best to remove misunderstandings among them. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdgon would visit Pakistan in February, while the Pakistani leadership would also visit Malaysia in near future.
Qureshi said he had met Punjab Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar and discussed the issue of setting up the South Punjab sub civil secretariat. Things in that regard would move forward soon, he added.
The minister thanked the Sri Lanka Cricket Team for touring Pakistan and wished that the Bangladesh team should visit the country. which seemed to have been influenced by India. The politics should be kept away from sports, he added.
About the Sindh Government’s complains of gas shortage, Qureshi stated that the country on the whole was facing shortage of gas and the provincial government was doing politics on the issue. He, however, asked the Sindh Government should sit with the Federal Government and sort out a solution of the issue.
He said Karachi was the main industrial hub of the country and the Federal Government would not wish to create any gas shortage there. The industry’s role was vital for enhancing exports and the incumbent government was striving hard to promote exports, he remarked.
The government, he said, was trying to import LNG (liquefied natural gas) and installing more terminals to bridge the gap between demand and supply of gas.
Qureshi lamented that the ‘disease’ of spreading fake news was harmful.
Everyone seemed to be propagating their own view-points or ideologies through fake news not only in the country but also at international level.
The minister lauded the American-Pakistanis for effectively presenting Pakistan’s view-point in the United States and urged them to play their role in countering the Indian lobby.
The US Congress discussed the Kashmir issue in three different sessions, he added.
To a question, Qureshi Qureshi rejected any chance of clash among the state institutions. The Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary had defined roles as per the Constitution. All institutions were run by sensible people, who worked within the defined ambit.
He also lauded the Pakistan army for eliminating the menace of terrorism and extremism in the country.
About elections in Afghanistan, the foreign minister stated that Pakistan would work with the newly people’s elected government in the neighbouring country.
Qureshi also appreciated the district administration for finalizing arrangements for the Urs of great saint of sub-continent Hazrat Shah Ruknuddin Alam, commencing from the first of January. He urged the residents of Multan to welcome the devotees of the saint, coming from other cities and provinces as it would help promote inter-provincial harmony.