–Info minister lashes out at PPP chief over ‘threat’ to hold train march
–PPP chief had criticised PTI govt’s ‘inability’ to implement NAP
–Fawad defends Tareen for briefing cabinet, says his input on economy ‘valuable’
LAHORE: Days after Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari lashed out at the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government over talks of a treason case against him after criticism, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry accused the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman of making such statements to ‘save’ his father Asif Ali Zardari over his alleged involvement in graft cases.
The Imran Khan-led government and PPP have locked horns ever since Bilawal criticised the federal minister for having close ties to banned outfits and PTI’s inability to implement the National Action Plan (NAP).
In a tweet last week, Bilawal lashed out at the PTI: “What the hell is a narrative? Is life now a fascist screenplay where if you don’t follow a script, you are declared traitor? Screw you and your narrative. I have an ideology and my ideology doesn’t change [but] your narrative keeps on changing.”
This came after a resolution was filed by PTI MPA Mussarat Jamshed Cheema in Punjab Assembly seeking a treason case against Bilawal.
The timing of these developments also coincides with the opening of corruption cases against Bilawal and his father, former president Asif Ali Zardari, in the National Accountability Bureau. The PPP’s senior leadership used fake accounts to launder money for senior leaders, including Asif Ali Zardari and aunt Faryal Talpur, according to the Federal Investigation Agency.
Addressing a media conference at the Press Information Department (PID), Fawad took a jibe at Bilawal, saying the Bhutto scion was “out to save his father” and after this mission, he leader would also have to start a ‘release father’ movement.
It was very unfortunate that when Asif Ali Zardari was being investigated for Rs 5,000 billion alleged corruption, his son was threatening a ‘train march’, the minister remarked.
Speaking of PPP’s alleged ties with the banned outfits, the information minister said Bilawal his party leader Khursheed Shah had met the leaders of the banned organisations.
“Bilawal should also have seen Khursheed Shah’s pictures with terrorists,” said Fawad, adding no one could be removed from his parliamentary office on the basis of mere pictures. He said that the PPP chairman would have to change his narrative in this regard.
Expressing his government’s commitment to NAP, the minister said all political parties played their role in NAP implementation since 2014.
“The PPP government had launched a successful operation against terrorists in Swat, while the PML-N government achieved success in North and South Waziristan, and the incumbent PTI government was removing lacunae,” he explained.
He said that NAP was not a political matter, but an issue of the writ of the state, and it was equally beneficial for all political parties.
Responding to reporters’ queries, the minister said that the opposition parties were free to lodge their protests; however, no one would be allowed to take the law into their hands by throwing stones at policemen and the media persons under the garb of protests.
The PTI government did not impose Anti-Terrorism Act on the detained workers of opposition parties, he said, recalling that the past governments had imposed this act on the PTI workers and even its chairman during the party’s sit-in in Islamabad.
FAWAD DEFENDS TAREEN:
Meanwhile, Fawad defended PTI leader Jahangir Tareen for briefing the cabinet members on issues pertaining to agriculture.
On Tuesday, the former general secretary of the ruling party briefed the cabinet members on agriculture matters during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, drawing severe criticism from the opposition parties.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore, Fawad Chaudhry said Tareen’s inputs over the matters of economy and agriculture were very valuable for the country.
“Similarly, dual nationals cannot take part in the electoral process but if they have expertise over any matter, the government would welcome their assistance,” he added.
PPP SAYS FAWAD IS LIKE GOEBBELS:
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) didn’t react well to a press conference by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s press conference, saying the information minister was acting like Goebbels –the propaganda minister of Nazi Germany– of the puppet government.
“The country knows that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan are two sides of the same coin,” alleged Information Secretary Nafisa Shah.
“Bilawal wants to save Pakistan which faces danger from banned organisations,” she claimed.
“Bilawal’s statements hurt Imran Khan and when Imran Khan is hurt then NAB becomes more charged than ever,” said Shah. She said that PPP only seeks a complete implementation of the NAP.