ISLAMABAD, Dec 11 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Friday said the threat of en mass parliamentary resignations hurled by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders was nothing but a political stunt, which was bound to fail like their previous attempts for getting an ‘NRO’ for their corruption cases.
“It is a known fact that they [opposition alliance] are different parties and have different directions. And those who move in different directions can never have a single destination,” he said while addressing a news conference flanked by Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur.
Shibli Faraz said if the opposition parties were serious to quit the assemblies en bloc then they should do it in an appropriate manner instead of making mere assertions. “It is their last tactic, which will fail like the past ones.”
He said after the Financial Action Task Force-related legislation, the 11-parties alliance got convinced that the present government would never give them any National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)-like concession and the all of a sudden started making noise about alleged rigging in the last general election.
They started gathering mobs and holding public meetings, besides uttering abusive language to create an environment to pressurize the government for fulfillment of their personal agenda, he added.
The minister said the opposition parties had nothing to do with the common man’s welfare as they were following the single agenda of getting the NRO for their corruption, while putting the public lives at risk amid the increasing intensity of the deadly second wave of coronavirus.
To a question, Shibli Faraz categorically denied of contacting the PDM leadership for any formal talks.
He, however, maintained that the government could have talks with the opposition for discussing political issues and not personal ones like corruption cases.
Any impression regarding contacts with the opposition was totally false, he added.
On the other hand, he said, some opposition parliamentarians, who were being compelled by non-elected persons like Maryam Safdar to tender resignations, were in contact with the government.
Shibli Faraz said some parties in the unnatural alliance were looking for a way out, as they realized PDM chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman with his so-called ‘religious cloak’ had led them to a blind alley.
The government could help them to come out of the “quagmire” , but without giving any NRO to escape from the accountability process for their corruption, he added.
The PDM, he said, would cancel its Lahore gathering if the government agreed to their only one demand of amending the National Accountability Bureau’s laws at the eleventh hour.
To a query, he made it clear that no secret talks would be held with the opposition.
“We are an elected government and will make public the terms of reference of any negotiation with the opposition,” he added.
The minister said at present the country was facing two epidemics, one was the second wave of coronavirus and the other was the PDM.
According to the National Command and Operation Center’s data, the corona situation in major cities like Peshawar turned the worst after the PDM’s public gatherings.
Terming the 11-party alliance a ‘band of irresponsible political parties’, he said around 60 per cent health equipment in almost every hospital was occupied, while the situation might deteriorate further due to rising corona patients in the wake of declining mercury.
The Lahore city, he feared, would face the same fate as the opposition was adamant to hold the ‘Jalsa’ despite clear restrictions from the government on public and social gatherings, weddings, and other activities in the larger public interest.
“It is not a joke,” the minister said, warning that legal action would be taken against the facilitators and political leaders, instigating people for violating the anti-COVID standard operating procedures for the sake of their own personal gains.
He said the government was informing the public regularly about the evolving situation as the second wave of the coronavirus was intensifying.
The minister said ironically PDM was mainly the alliance three characters – Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, whose politics was based on ‘lies and deceit’.
All of them, he said, were ‘kings of corruption’ and ‘certified liars’ as they plundered the national wealth with impunity while being in government offices.
They had promoted the culture of corruption, horse-trading and hypocrisy in the national politics, and even introduced new ways of laundering money abroad, he added.
For being out of power for the last two years, they had now got frustrated and started talking of ‘now or never’ as their only option, he added.
He appealed to the PDM leaders to cancel their political gatherings for the next three months to ensure people’s safety amid the second wave of coronavirus, which would also help the economy get stabilized due to the prudent policies of the government.