ISLAMABAD: With a controversy raging regarding the government spokesman on economy, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has called upon the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government to prove its transparency by releasing complete details of all cabinet members.
In a statement, PML-N central spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb demanded that in the aftermath of the Farrukh Saleem episode, the appointment notifications of the prime minister’s entire cabinet must be shared to avoid further confusion.
Ms Aurangzeb said it was essential to make public such details as Dr Farrukh Saleem’s was a disgraceful and embarrassing situation for the government.
Demand follows information minister’s remarks Dr Farrukh Saleem was never appointed government’s spokesman
“What if the prime minister or any of his ministers commit an irreparable blunder and later they flee and exonerate themselves by saying they were not formally notified to that office. They would claim that all steps taken by the cabinet were a farce because they did not receive a notification,” she said.
The former information minister stressed that considering deplorable governance and one blunder after the other, it was even more essential to see these notifications in order to fix responsibility of the disasters later.
Ms Aurangzeb demanded that the government bring forward their announced and unannounced advisers and the people of Pakistan should be told who sat in core government meetings without any official notification.
On Thursday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said that Dr Saleem was not a spokesman for the government while referring to the latter’s statement about Pakistan’s economy in which he had termed it to be ‘ailing’.
In his tweet, Mr Chaudhry had stated: “Clarification is needed Saleem Farrukh is not spokesperson of the Government. We ought to have appointed Dr Sb Govt’s Spokesperson on economy but later it transpired that PM office has banned any hirings so his Appointment could never transpire, he is free to have any opinion.”
Earlier, Dr Saleem had said in a TV programme that the government was not curing the disease, but hiding the symptoms. The results of devaluing the rupee were not good, he said, adding that despite 30 per cent devaluation of the rupee exports were still on the decline.
On Oct 9 last year, Mr Chaudhry had issued a tweet confirming Dr Saleem’s appointment. “Ministry of Information is pleased to announce that Dr Farrukh Saleem will be the Government’s spokesperson on Economy and energy issues, notification shall follow accordingly @SaleemFarrukh,” he wrote.
Dr Saleem had been regularly attending meetings held at the Prime Minister House between October and until Dec 24, 2018.
Talking to Dawn, Dr Saleem said the official media and record of the Board of Investment were the proof of his involvement in official affairs. However, he did not specify if he had been with the government on a voluntary basis or that he was hired to assist the government.
Ms Aurangzeb in her statement demanded: “FIRs must be registered against those impersonating and infiltrating meetings of national interest without any formal notification because this practice is raising many dangerous questions.”
Without naming Dr Saleem, she said that those who had lied regarding their positions or impersonated government office for personal enrichment should be tried in courts.
Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2019