PM Imran, Bilawal spar on twitter over foreign travel | Pakistan Today

PM Imran, Bilawal spar on twitter over foreign travel

— Imran takes a jibe at Opp, wonders why some lawmakers are so ‘keen’ to leave country 

–Bilawal says ‘selected PM’ doesn’t understand human rights or freedom of movement 

Sindh CM claims ECL cannot bar him from official trips 

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari indulged in a verbal spar on Twitter after the former wondered why some lawmakers were so “keen to go abroad”.

Imran’s comment came at a time when his government is facing extreme pressure to remove the name of 172 suspects, especially Bilawal and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, from the Exit Control List (ECL).

The “hasty” decision, as Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called it, was taken after a joint investigation team probing the fake accounts case against the PPP leadership, suggested the government to place 172 people on ECL.

The decision was criticised by the opposition parties and the Supreme Court, which had urged the government to review its decision. Moreover, a written order was also issued by the top court, directing removal of Bilawal and Murad from ECL.

Taking a jibe at the opposition for agitating over the issue, Imran tweeted: “Why are some of our lawmakers so scared of the ECL? Why are they so keen to go abroad? There is so much work to be done by politicians in and for Pakistan — the land they claim to love but some cannot wait to take frequent trips abroad and lawmakers have iqamas or residencies abroad.”

Retweeting his earlier tweet, he asked whether anyone could explain “this strange phenomenon to those of us who would be quite happy to remain in and work for Pakistan because we actually love Pakistan”.

The tweet didn’t go down well with PPP chief and MNA Bilawal, who schooled the PM on the concept of human rights and freedom of movement.

Calling Imran Khan a “selected PM”– an allegation which the PTI chairman has faced frequently– Bilawal also called out Imran for making seven foreign trips in spite of his promise to stay in the country for the first six months of his government.

“Obviously selected PM doesn’t understand the concept of human rights or freedom of movement. Funny it’s only the opposition members on ECL, government members are busy travelling. Including PM who despite promising not to travel for 1st 6months has made more than 7 trips so far!” he tweeted.

The PPP chairman also criticised the premier on the floor of the National Assembly. He said the PM doesn’t have the “courage to speak to us face-to-face in parliament”.

“It would have been better if the prime minister actually came to the House and spoke about these matters instead of tweeting them,” Bilawal said in an apparent reference to Imran’s less than 20 per cent attendance in NA sessions.

Bilawal said that the Supreme Court had ordered that his name should be removed from ECL, but [instead of complying] the prime minister proceeded to tweet about it.


CM Murad Ali Shah, whose name was also put on the ECL and later ordered to be removed by the apex court, also responded to the prime minister’s comments that no power can stop him from leaving on an official trip.

It does not matter if my name is on ECL, he reiterated, while speaking to media in Sehwan.

The provincial chief minister also criticised Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and mocked that it seems as if Chaudhry has nothing better to do than coining false news stories to get media coverage.

Asserting that the “chicken and egg” philosophy has become stale, Shah lamented the turn of circumstances which have turned the prime minister’s visit to Sindh into “a conspiracy”.

“Imran Khan is the prime minister of the country, he can visit Sindh anytime,” he stated.

Claiming that the PTI government is only using ECL as a means to exact political revenge, Shah said that public issues will be resolved due to an alliance forged by PPP leader Bilawal and Asif Ali Zardari with the other opposition parties.

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