–PPP chairman says govt should form joint parliamentary body and sack three ministers over their links with proscribed militant outfits
–Asad Umar says people [of outfit] who supported him are victims of terrorism themselves
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers reacted strongly to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s demand of removal of three ministers from the federal cabinet for their alleged affiliation with banned outfits, accusing the young PPP chief of toeing India’s line.
They were responding to late night tweets of Bilawal, containing links of articles and videos of the ministers meeting the leaders of proscribed organisations in the run-up to the general elections.
Bilawal said that instead of taking action against some ministers who had sought the support of banned militant outfits, the ruling PTI was accusing him of being anti-state and involving him in corruption cases as a pressure tactic.
In a series of tweets, he demanded that the government must remove the ministers “having ties with [any] proscribed organisation”.
The government has responded to my demand to sack ministers associated with banned outfits by declaring me anti-state, issueing death threats & NAB notices. None of this deters us from our principle stand; form joint NSC parliamentary committee & act against banned outfits.
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) March 19, 2019
Taking a swipe at the ruling PTI, Bilawal said: “The government has responded to my demand to sack ministers associated with banned outfits by declaring me anti-state, issuing death threats & NAB notices.” “None of this deters us from our principle stand; form joint NSC parliamentary committee & act against banned outfits.”
“As long as compromised individuals remain in the cabinet no one will take GOP claims seriously. Those who have supported such groups and their training camps must be removed from the federal cabinet,” he added.
“Ministers who have been part of mainstreaming and got the support of such outfits during the elections must be removed from the federal cabinet,” he demanded.
He said that the ministers who promised mutiny to such groups under the PTI must go if the government wants the opposition to believe “they are serious about taking on extremism, banned organizations and distancing themselves from past support to such groups.”
PTI SENATOR LABELS BILAWAL ANTI-STATE:
PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan accused the chairman of Pakistan’s third largest political party of making statements to appease the ‘anti-Pakistan and anti-peace lobby’.
“Bilawal wants to erase whatever sacrifices our brave soldiers made for global peace. Pakistan has risen as a messenger of peace across the world. We laid 70,000 lives in the war against terror,” the PTI senator said in the statement.
“This war wasn’t ours … for the sake of global peace we gave a financial sacrifice of $123 billion,” Khan continued.
He said the PPP won’t able to pressurise the PTI government as it was ‘naya Pakistan’. He also took a jibe at PPP’s Sindh government, claiming that 70 per cent of the province’s population was living below the poverty line.
Meanwhile, Asad Umar, who was mentioned in a tweet of Bilawal’s, also responded to the PPP chairman in a press conference.
“Brother, I had [relations] with only those who had announced support for us in the elections and I have just received a message from one of them … these are the organisations and sects that had been a victim of terrorism themselves,” the minister said.
“When these allegations were hurled, they messaged me the next day and said that they are still standing with you [Umar] and if you want we can issue a statement,” the minister said responding to PPP chief’s accusations.
‘FEDERAL MINISTERS CONTRADICT STATE’S AGENDA’:
Bilawal’s spokesperson Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar on Tuesday asked that if the federal ministers continue to support banned outfits then how will the government implement the National Action Plan (NAP).
“What kind of government is this where the federal ministers contradict the state’s agenda?” he asked.
In a reference to Finance Minister Asad Umar’s statement, he said that one federal minister says that the banned outfits still support him.
“In an Islamic country, jihad is the responsibility of the state and not of any other group,” he added.