LAHORE: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry says the trade between Pakistan and China will now be carried out in Yuan, instead of US dollars. Trade in dollars exposes the national economy to risk that ultimately leads to financial burden, said the minister while addressing a press conference here. With reference to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China, he underlined that the relations between the two ‘all-weather’ friends were good and would remain so in the future. He reiterated his government’s earlier announcement to send Pakistani astronauts on a space mission in 2022. Hurling a jibe at rival political parties without naming anyone, Chaudhry said ‘some political figures should also be sent to space.’ Mr. Chaudhry said relations between countries were based on strategies, rather than relying on individuals. “Pakistan must now proud that the Islamic world is now trusting it to the core.” He mentioned that it was an achievement for Pakistan that the Dutch government declared blasphemous caricature contest as wrong. With reference to recent countrywide protests, the information minister said people were well aware about those using the ‘religion card’ for their own gains. It will now be the responsibility of provincial governments to compensate losses incurred by people during the protests, the minister added.
He appreciated religious parties for their efforts in tackling the crisis [arising out of Asia Bibi’s acquittal in a blasphemy case]. “A fruit vendor was looted in a broad daylight; rickshaws were set on fire…some people on pretext of safeguarding the religion resorted to violence which should not have happened”, regretted the minister. He hailed visits of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia and China as successful. Regarding rift with the Opposition, the minister said the main contention was on based on a single issue, ‘they are asking for NRO, and we reply ‘Na Ro’ (Don’t cry).’ He maintained PM Khan had already unveiled his zero tolerance policy against corruption and it was being implemented in letter and spirit. NNI