ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry has said that overseas Pakistanis do not trust former Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and former President Asif Ali Zardari.
“Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) want to keep overseas Pakistanis out of the election process,| he said while talking to media persons after the federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad.
“Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) were responsible for the problems of the country,” he said.
He took a dig at the opposition saying where the country’s economic speed was accelerating; the speed of opposition was slowing down to a point where it came to a halt.
The minister said that PPP was holding reins of power in Sindh longer than any dictator. He maintained that PPP was raising a noise about rigging because it knew that Imran Khan would be the prime minister for the next five years.
He said the volume of our budget would be Rs8,000 billion and the deficit budget would be in the region of Rs3,000 billion. He said the government would give Rs700 billion under the heads of salaries and pensions. He informed that from 1947 to 2008, Rs6,000 billion loans were taken. He hoped to collect Rs5,700 billion in revenue.
He criticized the past governments which set up power plants with borrowed money. He lamented that Karachi is the fifth largest city in the world but it did not have its own police force. He wondered where the funds got vanished which were released for Sindh. He stated that funds were sought for the development of the backward areas of Sindh. These areas of Sindh should have become Paris by now if seeing the amount of funds released in the name of their development, he added.
Chaudhry said that the people of Larkana and Karachi were lamenting that they were without any amenities. While on the other hand, Sindh has received Rs16 billion to Rs17 billion from the pool of National Finance Commission award, he added.
He divulged that Sindh was given separate money under the head of grants. “Where this money has gone? Has this money stashed away in London, Canada, America, Paris and Dubai? There are two families. One family sends money from here and the other family sends money from Sindh,” he remarked.
He said if there was any mini-Pakistan, then it was Karachi. He said Rangers were providing security services in Karachi.
He regretted that the previous government set up a coal plant in Sahiwal where there are no coal reserves. The plant has only added to the environmental pollution, he added.
Chaudhry rued that no matter these plants produce electricity or not, the government had to pay Rs900 billion. He said the opposition fumed when they were told about the tales of power plants.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had given a good direction to Pakistan economy. He informed that Pakistan started making Personal Protective Equipment itself during the corona pandemic.
Fawad Chaudhry said that the cabinet has approved the appointment of Aslam Khan as the new chairman of PIA. Asim Rauf s tenure as chairman TRAP has been extended by three months. The cabinet also approved the import of 1 million tons of wheat.
He said that Rs1000 billion sent by the overseas Pakistanis is a sign of confidence in Prime Minister Imran Khan. Remittances came in large numbers to Pakistan.
All Pakistanis who have an ID card do not need to register for vote. The PTI has always supported the right of overseas Pakistanis to vote, he added.
The Federal Minister said that the All Parties Conference (APC) convened by the opposition is a conspiracy to weaken the parliament.
Fawad Chaudhry said only those parties in the parliament should talk about the election reforms. We do not consider Fazlur Rehman, Maryam Nawaz as stakeholders. Understandably, these people do not want this system to work.
Fawad Chaudhry said that the Election Commission cannot question the Parliament whether the law is constitutional or not, it is up to the Supreme Court to decide.
If anyone wants to do politics, they should form their own party instead of using an institution like the Election Commission for politics.
Earlier, the cabinet allowed the Pakistan International Airline to appoint the chairman of its operation limited board.
The cabinet gave a go ahead for the release of domestic and international Sukook bonds in return for public assets. However, the cabinet deferred action on the inspection report regarding special cases of the banks.
The cabinet okayed the appointment of the executive director of the national vocational and technical training commission. The matter of the use of Carlton Hotel, Karachi’s land was also deferred. The release of prohibited weapons licenses was also put on hold. The cabinet also deferred the appointment of the members of the Islamabad master planning commission.
The cabinet approved the dual nationality agreement with Luxemburg. It also okayed the Encroachment Bill, 2021 for public property. It approved the appointment of the CEO of the drug regulatory authority. It also gave a go ahead for the appointment of the CEO of Sukkur electric power company.
It gave approval for the housing society in Islamabad for the Supreme Court staff. It also okayed the appointment of the board of directors of Bhasha Dam Company.
In its meeting, the cabinet endorsed the decisions of the economic coordination committee. He was of the view that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) cannot question laws made by Parliament as its sole role is to implement them. It is up to the Supreme Court to determine whether a law is in contravention of the Constitution or not, he added.