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Minister sees PML-N forward bloc in Punjab Assembly

Updated October 14, 2018

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Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry — File
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry — File

LAHORE: Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Saturday the future of the Sharif family was bleak and claimed that a number of PML-N legislators were ready to announce the formation of a forward bloc in the Punjab Assembly but “we are showing leniency”.

Interacting with media persons after attending a session of a conference held in memory of the late Asma Jahangir at a hotel, he said the PML-N was facing disintegration.

The minister claimed that the PTI would win all the seats in the by-elections being held on Sunday (today).

He said the PTI had to seek an IMF bailout package because of the (plunder by the) last PML-N government. “We need $8 billion to retire debt,” he said. “When your house is plundered you seek outside help to run it and attempt to catch the robbers,” he said, reiterating that the plunderers would not be spared.

He said the loan being obtained by the PTI government would be retired after improvement in the economic conditions of the country. “The difference this time is that the voter and the government are committed that they would not allow the repetition (plunder) of the past 10 years,” he said.

Earlier while speaking at the conference, he said there was no threat to democracy in Pakistan. Referring to the remarks by former ANP parliamentarian Bushra Gohar, the minister said: “Democracy is endangered whenever someone talks of luxury flat. But we will not spare the plunderers. Every time the big looters are caught, they create an impression that democracy is in danger.”

He said the country had Rs13,000 billion debt when Gen Musharraf left. It swelled to Rs28,000bn in the last 10 years. Rule of law could not be established with slogans, he said and promised that the PTI government would introduce real democracy in the country. He said there was a trust deficit with regard to institutions, politicians and democracy.

Ms Bushra asked as to why NAB did not proceed against the ANP government if it had committed corruption. “Go for accountability and avoid allegations,” she said.PPP’s MNA Nafisa Shah also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2018