APP49-03 ISLAMABAD: November 03 – Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz addressing a press conference at PID Media Centre. APP photo by Irshad Sheikh

ISLAMABAD, Nov 03 (APP):Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Tuesday said the cat was now out of the bag as PML-N’s senior leader Rana Sanaullah had demanded withdrawal of corruption cases against the Sharif family.

The narrative adopted by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership against the state institutions was in fact aimed at getting their corruption cases shelved, he said while briefing the media about the decisions taken by the Federal Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The minister slammed the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for toeing the Indian agenda of spreading anarchy in the country during its rallies at Gujranwala, Karachi and Quetta. The opposition’s narrative based on hatred against Pakistan and the national institutions was not acceptable to any segment of the society.

He said there was strong resentment among the people against the statement of Ayaz Sadiq, who was fully supporting the narrative of Nawaz Sharif. However, many leaders and workers of the PML-N were opposed to their party chief’s narrative, he added.

Shibli Faraz accused the opposition of having double standards. PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi termed it electoral rigging if he lost from his home constituency of Murree, but the election was fair if he won from Lahore. The Sahrifs questioned the court verdicts if the same were against them, and if they were given relief, the same courts were appreciated, he added.

The opposition parties, he said, had no plans for the future as they only fostered a culture of corruption, loot and nepotism while in power. Due to their government policies, the country had witnessed a brain drain as the capable peopled had gone abroad.

He asked Rana Sanaullah, who was a powerful PML-N minister, that who would give answer for the 2014 killing of innocent people in Model Town (Lahore).

The minister said Nawaz Sharif had his properties, businesses and children abroad and that was why he was least bothered if God forbid the country faced anarchy. However, the current government had no issue with the opposition’s public rallies as even the provincial leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf could hold larger meetings than those of the PDM.

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He said Maulana Fazlur Rehman had always been in the field to get power.
The minister said according to the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to facilitate small businesses, the government had decided that the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) would get additional electricity at reduced rates from the first of current month till 30th of June next year.

Similarly, the industry would be provided electricity at off-peak hours rate round the clock throughout the year, he added.

Unfortunately, he said expensive electricity was being generated due to the agreements signed by the past governments. Providing cheap electricity to the industries would increase production of domestic products, he added.

Giving incentives to the industries would increase employment opportunities as they would now be able to work in the third shift due to abolition of the peak hours rate for electricity consumption, he remarked.

Shibli Faraz said that the national economy had recovered considerably during the past few months. The construction industry witnessed a boom after easing of restrictions imposed after the outbreak of coronavirus in March, with increase in the sale of cement and other material.

The significant growth in exports and improvement in the textile sector were also a manifestation of improvement in the economy, he added.

Replying to questions from media persons, Shibli Faraz said Nawaz Sharif could not become a revolutionary by staying away and using the land of another country. The PML-N’s rank and file should pressure on their leader to return to Pakistan and face court cases, he added.

The Sharifs, he said, behaved like the monarchs and considered themselves above the law, and that was why they were not prepared for being treated like ordinary citizens.

Instead of asking about kidnapping of the Inspector General of Sindh Police or other such matters, why questions were not being asked about disrespecting of the Quaid’s Mazar, being the real crime of Maryam Safdar and her spouse, he asked.

Likewise, he said, as to why the person, who was elected Pakistan’s prime minister thrice, had run away from the law and why he had created an environment of chaos and unrest in the country by his speeches.

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To a question regarding registration of a first information report on the disrespect of Mazar-e-Quaid, Shibli Faraz said the state never showed a knee jerk reaction on any issue. The matter of desecration of the Quaid’s Mazar would not be pushed under the carpet.

About the on-going price hike of wheat and flour, the minister blamed Sindh for causing the shortage by not releasing wheat to the mills. The people of the province were not getting the flour at reasonable price.

Under its mala fide intention, the Sindh government also announced the support price of Rs 2,000 per 40 kilogram wheat, which was the mandate of the Federal Government, he added.

The minister recalled how the Sindh government had tried to mislead the masses on the COVID-19 pandemic, and the situation would have been disastrous, had the Centre followed it.

He said the Sindh government’s role in relation to the sugar and wheat crises reflected that its rulers did not believe in the entire Pakistan, and vowed to expose them.

The Sindh rulers, he said, were in fact playing politics by opting for hoarding of wheat instead of releasing it to the mills, which was shameful, and the people of Gilgit-Baltistan would ask them about it.

About the soaring tomato price, the minister said the government was aware of the high prices of commodities and all-out efforts were being made to bring them down. The people would soon see the results, he added.

He said the PTI was in the government because of the people and it was not possible that its leadership had no realization of their difficulties.

Various steps are being taken to provide relief to them like provision of daily use items at subsidized rate at Utility Store Corporation and setting up Sahulat Bazaars.

He expressed the optimism that the difficult phase would soon be over.