MULTAN : Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says India made full efforts to push Pakistan into Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Black list but Pakistan managed to frustrate these efforts through effective and vibrant diplomatic engagements. Talking to media persons in Multan Saturday, the Foreign Minister said Pakistan has prepared eight legislative bills to remove itself of the FATF grey list. Referring to the Financial Task Force, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that we got the gray list from the previous government, we need legislation to get out of there. He said we have consulted 8 laws of FATF with the Ministry of Finance while India is trying its best to blacklist Pakistan. Federal Minister said that corruption free Pakistan is needed by all. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) have not been able to improve National Accountability Bureau (NAB) rules for 10 years. He said that a bill has also been prepared to amend the NAB rules. All bills have been sent to the opposition for consultation. There will be a meeting with the opposition on Monday to see what progress has been made. Corruption free Pakistan is what we all need, he added. The government’s strategy of smart lockdown during the coronavirus has been successful and the world has also appreciated our efforts to curb the infection.
Shah Mahmood said that experts have said that the government s Coronavirus management did not seem to be satisfied, and they pointed out the practical implications of the Sindh government and their severe lockdown and questioned why the Punjab and the central government were not doing so. Qureshi said that our smart lockdown strategy proved to be effective and today the world has followed it. And the vision that Imran Khan gave, today many countries of the world are following it. Minister said that according to the analysis of experts, by July 30, there would have been 1.2 million coronavirus-affected patients and about 50,000 deaths in Pakistan. Thank God that God has kept Pakistan safe and there are no 1.2 million patients, no 50,000 deaths but we are still deeply saddened by what has happened and we would like to express our sympathy to the affected families. Federal Foreign Minister further said that the Vice Chancellor of Nishtar Medical University Multan had died due to the epidemic. I pray to Allah to forgive him and others who have died from this epidemic and grant patience to their families. Foreign Minister said that our infection rate is gradually decreasing, deaths are gradually decreasing. The pressure on hospitals and people on ventilators is decreasing and God willing, we are close to eradicating this disease. However, he said that we still appeal to the people to continue with caution. Eid-ul-Adha is approaching and we request you to be careful for yourself and your family as the slightest negligence can lead to a new height in coronavirus cases. Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that we have to face the next challenge in the month of Muharram when there will be mourning. We fully respect it and realize its importance, but religious dignitaries, including clerics and elders, are requested to follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and cooperate to protect people. Replying to a question, he said that he wished that there should be a separate booklet for South Punjab in the annual development program in the forthcoming Punjab budget. Practical steps are being taken to set up a South Punjab Secretariat. Continuing, the Federal Foreign Minister said that we demand the establishment of a separate Public Service Commission for South Punjab. It will take time to become a province, we do not have a two-thirds majority. He said that South Punjab Province will solve the problems of the people. Few people will not decide the capital of South Punjab, this decision will be made on merit. He said, in my opinion, the provincial capital should be Multan. Minister said that we are grateful of Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of Punjab for the progress made in the formation of the new province. Referring to Occupied Kashmir, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the atrocities of the Indian Army in the IOJ&K were continuing and the Mosques were locked in the valley. Things are getting worse while violations of the enemy continue on the Line of Control (LoC). Replying to another question, the Federal Foreign Minister said that the President-elect of the UN General Assembly is coming to Pakistan on Sunday, at the invitation of Pakistan.