Tender apology for anti-state remarks or face music, Shibli tells Ayaz
APP18-29 ISLAMABAD: October 29 - Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Senator Shibli Faraz addressing press conference. APP photo by Saleem Rana

ISLAMABAD, Oct 29 (APP): Giving strong reaction to the controversial remarks of PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq about return of the captured Indian pilot Abhinandan, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Thursday asked him to tender apology in the Parliament or get ready to face the legal action.

“All other things are secondary and the national interest is supreme at this point of time.

We will not put Ayaz Sadiq’s statement, which has pleased India, on back-burner,” he said while addressing here a news conference.

He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader would have to extend apology to the nation in the Parliament for causing harm to the national interest by making anti-state statement that appeased India.

“For this, the public will hold him accountable,” he added.

The leadership of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), he said, should also seek apology from the nation, and condemn Ayaz and their own anti-state statements, made in public meetings or in the Parliament.

“Nothing less than this [apology] will be acceptable. It stands clear now that whosoever causes harm to national interest cannot be the well wisher of the state.

It [anti-state remarks] is sheer violation of Article 19 of the Constitution, which does not permit any statement against the state.”

Shibli Faraz said it would be okay, if they [Ayaz & PDM leadership) tendered apology in the Parliament, otherwise “the law should take its course”.

By making such statements, he said, the opposition leaders had exposed themselves and now the public was well aware of the fact that they were pursuing anti-state agenda to protect their vested interests.

Shibli Faraz said it was quite shocking that the PDM leadership, including Ayaz Sadiq, who did serve as the Speaker of National Assembly, were full of venom against the state when the country was the target of an international conspiracy.

It seemed that such statements were being issued to please the enemy, and especially the recent one by Ayaz Sadiq showed that he did not deserve to become the NA Speaker, he added.

The minister said the whole Pakistani nation felt pride that on February 27, 2019 the valiant Pakistan Air Force pilots had shot down two Indian fighter jets and arrested a pilot. It was the historic day which had exposed India’s so-called military might, he added.
He said as a peace gesture and being a responsible state, the captured pilot was returned to India. Pakistan was proponent of peace and co-existence, and did not seek any war in the region, he added.

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Shibli Faraz said the decision regarding the return of Abhinandan was taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan, which had raised Pakistan’s image as a responsible and peace-loving country at international level.

“Pakistan was appreciated by the world community,” he said, adding those at the helm of the country’s affairs in the past had no vision like that of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The country was appreciated globally due to the prime minister’s right decision regarding the return of Abhinandan and on the contrary India had to face embarrassment at international level, he added.

Shibli Faraz said the opposition had been making failed attempts to attack the state institutions and divide the army, which the ISPR Director General had clearly mentioned in a news conference.

“Linking the Indian war prisoner Wing Commander Abhinandan’s release with any other thing except mature response of a responsible state is highly regrettable and misleading.

In fact, this [statement] is tantamount to make controversial the Pakistani nation’s clear dominance and victory over India, which is not acceptable to any Pakistani.

Such negative statements have a direct impact on national security, of which the enemy country is taking full advantage in the information domain,” he said, quoting Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Babar Iftikhar as saying in the news conference.

Shibli Faraz said it all started from the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) first rally at Gujranwala where Nawaz Sharif – an absconder of the law – launched an onslaught on a national institution. Then their caravan reached Karachi where one member party of the PDM desecrated the sanctity of Quaid-e-Azam’s Mausoleum with impunity.

He said at the recent rally in Quetta, one leader raised the slogan of an ‘independent Balochistan,’ which had not been contracted by the other PDM leaders sitting on the stage and they had not even denounced it till date. “It means that they all have the same narrative,” he added.

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The minister said nobody from the PDM leadership condemned the statement about making Balochistan a separate state despite they all knew that the area remained the prime target of India’s state-sponsored terrorism.

Mentioning the arrest of Kulbhushan Jadhav from Balochistan, he said the opposition’s mysterious silence over the remarks of a political leader on Balochistan proved that they supported the enemies’ agenda.

It was evident from the anti-state remarks of remarks of the PDM leadership, including Ayaz Sadiq, that the opposition was not only reinforcing India’s narrative against Pakistan but also causing bring embarrassment to Pakistan at the international level, he added.

The ‘drama’ orchestrated by the opposition, the minister said, was meant to create chaos and disturbance in the country so that they could pressure the government and national institutions for getting relief.

“It won’t happen this way,” he maintained, adding the opposition had to answer to the public for strengthening the enemy India’s narrative against Pakistan.

He said the PDM just wanted to neutralize and sabotage the economic achievements of present government made in the post-pandemic scenario for the sake of their own vested interests.

They just wanted closure of corruption cases against their leadership, he added.

“The wise people of Pakistan will not let this happen at any cost. Now, it is clear that the country’s politics will revolve around the national interests instead of personal ones,” he maintained.

To a query, he said efforts were underway to strengthen the national institutions and curb the artificial inflation in the country.

Shibli Faraz said the COVID-19 pandemic had adversely impacted the global economies but the situation was quite satisfactory in Pakistan. “The economy is reviving and the country is moving on the right track.”

He said the opposition leadership had lost the credibility for looting the country with impunity and the people would no more listen to them.