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GUJRAT: Federal Minis­ter for Information Fawad Chaudhry has criticised the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for making former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s health a political issue “because it doesn’t have any public issue to highlight”.

There should be no politics on the matter of justice or any ailment, Mr Chaudhry said while speaking at a public gathering in Akhlas Pur village of his home district Jhelum on Sunday

“Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked Mr Sharif several times to let us know which doctor he wants to bring in Pakistan since he has the resources [to do so] and we are ready for that, but he wants to go to London which is not a justified demand,” the minister said.

He said that it might not be the policy of Nawaz Sharif to do politics on his health but there was a group within his party that was indulging in politicising Mr Sharif’s health, but the people of Pakistan would not let it do so for political point scoring.

Reacting to PPP leader Khursheed Shah’s warning that if anything adverse happened to the former premier in jail, it would be considered a “murder” and the government would be responsible for it, the minister said that Mr Shah was more worried about his possible arrest (in corruption cases) than Mr Sharif’s health.

Talking to the media in Sukkur on Sunday, Mr Shah had expressed concern over Mr Sharif’s deteriorating health and asked people to pray for his health.

About the recent Pakistan-India stand-off, Mr Chaudhry said: “Today the international community is making fun of India. It used to say that it will beat us inside our country but we have let it know that its desire is nothing but a daydream.”

Mr Chaudhry said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had always condemned all forms of terrorism, and had stated time and again that if India took one step towards peace, Pakistan would take two.

“The US media is saying that the Pakistani premier should get the peace prize. This shows respect for Pakistan,” he said. “But some people have made fun of it (the proposal) in the parliament. They don’t have respect for any institution,” he said.

The information minister said that there was no disagreement between the government and the opposition except over the fact that the government was protecting every single penny of the national exchequer.

He said that Pakistan would achieve progress under the leadership of Imran Khan who would improve the country’s economy, politics and education and health sectors in the same way he had responded to Indian aggression in a befitting manner.

The minister appreciated the role of the people of Jhelum in safeguarding territorial sovereignty of the country and promised to strive for uplift and betterment of the area.

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2019