APP24-101220 ISLAMABAD: December 10 - Sir Michael Barber, The Founder And Chairman Of Delivery Associates unveils his independent “Report On Ehsaas” online during a joint press conference with Federal Minister For Information And Broadcasting, Senator Shibli Faraz and SAPM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Dr. Sania Nishtar. APP

ISLAMABAD, Dec 10 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz Thursday said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) had entered into a blind alley with announcing its step of en mass resignations from assemblies in haste, which created fissures in the 11-party alliance.

Parliamentary resignations were considered as the last card in politics, which the opposition leaders played before time in their quest for the power, he said here while addressing a press conference.

The PDM leaders, he said, used the en mass resignations as a ‘blackmailing’ tool without doing any homework as there were a number of legal complexities, which would ensue from their act.

The minister said the Pakistan Peoples Party would never want to lose its provincial government in Sindh while PDM chief Maulana Fazl ur Rehman had a plan to take revenge from both the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for abandoning him during his last year’s long march to Islamabad.

Quitting the assemblies by the members of PDM constituent parties would strengthen the position of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in the upcoming Senate election, he maintained.
To a query, the minister said his party’s members of the National Assembly during the last government’s tenure had presented their resignations to the then speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq of the PML-N.

Shibli Faraz said the PDM, on the other hand, did not work out on the future scenario, which was to evolve after their resignations. For instance, they did not know what the rules, the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Constitution said if the entire members of the alliance tendered their resignations to the National Assembly speaker .

He said the en mass resignations decision was the opposition’s ‘blackmailing tool’, but they had fallen in their own trap. It was an obvious question as to why the members of opposition parties would quit the Parliament, he added.

To another query, the minister said the government was making all-out efforts to protect the lives of people by updating them on the coronavirus situation regularly. It had successfully coped with the first wave of the pandemic after embracing the smart lockdown strategy that safeguarded the lives and livelihoods of people simultaneously.

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He made it clear that the government would not impose a complete lockdown due to the rallies of a group, which was adamant to put the people’s lives at stake to protect the public money looted by them and their vested interests.

It was ironic that the opposition did not care for the lives of people, which was their responsibility while keeping themselves also safe, he added.

Shibli Faraz said the government would follow the same strategy to cope with the second wave of the coronavirus, which it had adopted during the first one.

When asked about negotiation with the opposition, he said the prime minister was ready to hold dialogue with them, however, “there will be no compromise on the corruption cases”.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan soon after taking the oath of his office called for the dialogue and even formed a committee on the opposition’s claim of electoral rigging, but they did not even bother to attend its meeting.

The minister said the opposition had hijacked the Parliament during the last two years for getting the production orders for their imprisoned corrupt leaders instead of working with the government for the people’s welfare.

They remained silent for two years, but now all of a sudden, they started creating noise about the rigged elections, he wondered.

Shibli Faraz said the opposition parties, when came into the power, only focused on plundering the national wealth and gaining personal benefits.They had turned the country into Somalia like state with their massive corruption, he added.

The minister said they had nothing to do with the democracy as they just sought a NRO (National Reconconciliation Ordinance) like relief from the government.

Referring to Maulana Fazl’s statement regarding breaking of the Senate electoral college, he asked did such things really happen in a democratic system.

He reiterated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance of not giving any NRO-like concession to the corrupt leaders.

The minister made it clear that the prime minister, being the Leader of the House, could give relief to the opposition leaders. He cited the example of passage of FATF-related laws from the Parliament, where the the prime minister could give them an NRO for their support by conceding to their demand to make the National Accountability Bureau ‘toothless’ and ‘featherless’, but he did not do that in the larger national interest.

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Shibli Faraz exposed an unnatural alliance between the two major parties of the PDM, including the PPP and the PML-N, by playing past video clips of Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif in which they were seen criticizing each other for the sake of power.

He also played a clip of Nawaz Sharif in which he could be seen as disgracing Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

The minister said both the party leaders had remained each other’s arch foe in the past in their lust for power, and today they had rallied against the government again for returning to the power .

He vowed that the government would continue to expose the reality of all the major characters of PDM’s drama.

“One by one, we will apprise the public about the PDM leaders’ reality, politics, hypocrisy, selfishness, so-called political principles and ruthlessness in a series of press conferences,” he added.

Commenting on the PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif’s political career, he said first time he had come into the power after backstabbing the then Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo.
Everybody knew what Nawaz Sharif had done during General Zia-ul- Haq’s tenure and how did he use disgraceful language against Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, he added.

He reminded PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari about the role of Nawaz Sharif behind hanging of his grandfather.

When asked about the restrictions on the PDM’s upcoming rally in Lahore, he said the government would not stop them from holding gathering, but would lodge first information reports (FIRs) against the facilitators and opposition leaders, who were instigating the people to flout the coronavirus related standard operating procedures (SOPs).

He hoped that the people of Lahore would reject them as did by Multan’s dwellers.
The minister also rejected the rumours about resignation of Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Hafeez Sheikh while responding to another query.