Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government should have allowed the members of opposition parties to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who, along with his delegation, held a historic two-day trip to Pakistan.
The senior PPP leader made the statement while appearing before an accountability court in a case related to illegal tenders of advertisements. However, as Judge Arshad Malik was on leave, the hearing of the case was adjourned until March 11 without any proceedings.
According to Gilani, “When PPP was in the government, it not only let the opposition meet foreign guests but they were even allowed to stay in their homes.”
“Had I been the prime minister,” he said. “I would have made the Saudi crown prince address the National Assembly.”
Gilani expressed pleasure at the royal visit while speaking to media persons outside the court. He said, “I am very happy with the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to Pakistan as the two countries enjoy cordial relations.”
On Sunday evening, Prince Salman arrived at Nur Khan Airbase in Islamabad. He was warmly received by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other government officials.
It should be noted that the government had decided not to invite opposition leaders at the official banquet that was later hosted for the prince at the Prime Minister’s House. Info Minister Fawad Chaudhry had tweeted, ”How can we invite them [opposition leaders] to the event, their main leaders are either behind bars or out on bail.”
None of the opposition leaders are “of the stature to attend such an event,” Fawad added.