LAHORE: The PPP criticised the government for ignoring the opposition in the ceremonies being planned for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his two-day visit to the country.
“The government had better invited the opposition to the ceremonies being organised for the Saudi crown prince for the guest would have felt more honoured if all the political parties were there to receive him,” Punjab PPP president and former federal minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said here on Friday.
Talking to the media, Mr Kaira said the government had made a mistake by not inviting the opposition leaders to the functions for Prince Mohammed bin Salman because the whole nation had a religious relation with Saudi Arabia due to sacred sites.
When asked about the rumours doing rounds regarding the deal between the PML-N and the PTI government, the PPP leader did not rule out the possibility of a deal between both the sides that might have led to release of Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif.
“I cannot say whether there’s any deal or not but what I say is that the fuss about the deal isn’t being made without any basis as the situation developing daily is adding to the gossips.”
He recalled that in the past the Sharifs had entered into a deal with former army ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf after winning support of the PPP to join the defunct Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD). He said his party had always been complaining that the law was imposed only on the PPP and the rest were left to escape the law.
“Whether it’s Mullah or state everyone cuts its teeth on the PPP.”
Mr Kaira endorsed the PML-N claim that negotiations with Saudi Arabia on financial investments were going on for quite sometimes as projects worth billions of dollars were not decided and inked within days.
Referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s claims that he wouldn’t use the PM House, the former federal minister said that Mr Khan had been making such claims for cheap publicity.
About the PTI ministers’ demand that Shahbaz Sharif should resign as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee as he is facing the National Accountability Bureau’s references, Mr Kaira said as Mr Sharif was neither a minister nor enjoyed administrative powers so there was no need for him to resign from the slot.
Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2019