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PPP leader Syed Khursheed Shah. — Photo by Online/File

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah on Tuesday said that nationalists should have faith in federation.

“I never said that nationalists are anti-Pakistan but they should respect the federation and remove the flags of confederation from their vehicles,” he said in response to a point raised by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

The minister brushed aside the claim of the opposition leader that he earlier had described the nationalists as enemies of Pakistan.

“This is on record. It can be checked that I never described them as anti-Pakistan. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) merged those nationalists with it who carry the PML-N flag as well as their own and do not believe in federation,” he added.

Speaking on a resolution about military operation in Waziristan that could not be presented in the house, the minister said, the government was ready to sit with the opposition if any amendments were required in the resolution.

He also dispelled the impression created by the opposition leader that the government was not serious in implementation of the joint resolutions by the parliament, Shah said, Petroleum Minister has been directed to proceed in light of the house resolution while the house may initiate discussion on the status of other resolutions.

He said the nation will remember performance of this parliament and even the coming government will not be able to deliver what we have delivered. “We did not bulldoze the proceedings. We wait for the opposition, discuss with them the bills and other issues and do unanimous resolution.”

Shah said despite that his leadership had faced trials and jails for over a decade, his party after coming to power ensured that nobody is victimized politically and nobody is sent on forced exile.

He argued that operation brought normalcy to Swat and if peace is to be restored in Waziristan, the law enforcing forces will have to go there. “We as parliamentarians do our work and forces have to do their work to defeat terrorism.”

About drone attacks, he said, the government has condemned drone attacks but we need to have a clear policy and stance that either we have to have relations with those countries or live in isolation. “It is not fair that we continue meeting with them and also condemn them,” he added.


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