ISLAMABAD: With the opposition claiming in the Senate on Friday that its newly falsified alliance was a storm expected to overthrow the government, Information Minister Syed Shibli Faraz noted that there was no room for dynastic politics in Pakistan.
Speaking at the House, he said those who called each other a thief in the past had now gathered to avoid accountability and hide their corruption.
He, however, said the dream that united them under the banner of the Democratic Movement of Pakistan (PDM) would never come true. Your game is over. You will never go back to the corridors of power, he observed.
He also said the opposition represented only two limited family companies or two royal families who considered it their right to govern the country.
He said the Punjab government was facilitating participants in the PDM rally by providing them with masks and hand sanitizers. He urged the government to provide them with headscarves as well so that those who dictated serious accusations against each other could hide their faces.
Mr Faraz said he challenged the opposition to fill Jinnah Stadium in Gujranwala and said noting that it was not possible for them to draw the crowd they had turned half of the stadium into a stage.
The opposition criticizes the government for convening parliamentary sessions
He said opposition senators in their speeches created the impression that they had never been in government. He recalled that the two main opposition parties Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the People’s Party of Pakistan had ruled the country for decades. When they were in power, they never talked about respecting the vote. They have always respected the grade (currency) and do not vote, he noted. The nation was aware of people who had now become ideological to serve their interests, he noted.
Mr Faraz accused the parties of destroying the country’s institutions and economy. He said all the corrupt had joined hands against an honest prime minister. He made it clear, however, that their tactics could not extinguish Prime Minister Imran Khans’ unwavering determination to quell corruption.
Responding to opposition criticism of rising prices, he said the responsibility was on previous rulers who brought institutions to collapse.
He said the country’s economy had stabilized and the good days were not far off. He said it was not possible to clean up overnight the mess created for decades.
Rejecting claims that the 2018 election had been rigged, he asked the opposition how many election requests had been made. He noted that in the last elections Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf lost up to 16 seats by a margin ranging between 50 and 2,500 votes.
He said when Maulana’s son Fazlur Rehmans won the election there was nothing wrong but they shouted badly when they lost an election battle. He noted that this was the height of hypocrisy and the double standard.
Gathering in Gujranwala
Earlier, PML-N Parliamentary Leader in Senate House Mushahid Ullah Khan on a point of public importance accused the government of convening Senate and National Assembly sessions to use parliament against opposition rallies. He said it remained a tradition in the past that the government either refrained from convening parliament or postponed it for a day when such events were scheduled. He accused the government of trying to use parliament against the political rally in Gujranwala.
If the opposition (rally) turns out to be a great success, then who will be the loser, asked the PML-N senator and advised the government not to use parliament for political purposes. He said the alliance of opposition parties, PDM, was like a storm.
He also cited protests by government employees at Islamabads D-Chowk and said they were protesting against rising inflation in the country.
He said doctors, lawyers, teachers, industrialists and traders had staged protests against the government.
He regretted that those responsible for the rise in prices of wheat flour and medicines had been promoted.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri also questioned the urgency of convening sessions of both houses of parliament on a day when the opposition rally would be held. He said people from all walks of life were protesting against the government’s misguided policies and rising inflation.
He said Prime Minister Khan had promised that he would rather commit suicide than seek a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund. He should at least fulfill this promise to give some relief to the masses, he noted.
Senate House Speaker Dr Shahzad Waseem in his response said it was strange that the opposition while using the name of democracy had questioned the government for convening the two chambers of parliament and was doing politics within this institution. He said the opposition said it was at war with those who brought the PTI to power. This means that you have declared war on the masses who voted for the ruling party, he noted.
He said former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in London was saying their quarrel was with state institutions, including the military. He stressed the need to strengthen democracy and state institutions.
He rebuked the opposition for gathering under the same banner while there were serious differences.
Published in Agim, 17 October 2020
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