White Star
White Star

LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said the country can no more afford political wrangling.

Speaking to media after a meeting with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Punjab assembly speaker at the assembly compound on Monday, Dr Awan invited the opposition parties to play their role in strengthening economic reforms agenda.

Answering a question, she said Pakistan was facing international challenges on economic front and added that Dr Hafeez Sheikh had been roped in to deal with international challenges. “Dr Sheikh will lobby with international financial institutions and negotiate a better economic package for Pakistan, she added.

Dr Awan said the prime minister had specially sent her to Punjab to meet the chief minister and the media organisations’ leaders to bridge the gap created during the past few months between the two sides. She also acknowledged that there was even a communication gap between federal and Punjab information ministries.

“The former government’s remnants in the information department will be removed, who are even projecting incumbent government’s good initiatives in a negative light,” she asserted.

Recognising the stress and difficulties being faced by the media industry and the journalists’ community, including layoffs, the PM’s special assistant said she met with the chief minister and appealed to him that media’s pending bills be released to help it recover from the economic crisis.

Dr Awan also said the prime minister had approved the interim Wage Award and added that she would share the complete package with the journalists’ bodies in the days to come. She said consultation process was on to convert the interim into a permanent Wage Award.

She pledged full government support to the media and sought suggestions to correct the past mistakes and overcome the prevailing economic crisis.

“Punjab is Imran Khan’s biggest battleground and the PTI will strive to convert it into its citadel,” she added. The PM’s special assistant said the PTI MPAs had shown their complete confidence in the leadership of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, in a bid to scotch the rumours about the change in office.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2019