Firdous terms MPC bid to hide opposition leaders’ corruption

Updated June 27, 2019

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Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.—APP
Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said the multi-party conference (MPC) organised by opposition parties was a last-ditch effort by them to provide cover to their corrupt past.

“The declaration issued after 10-hour-long meeting covers almost everything but there is no mention of eradicating corruption from the country,” she said while addressing a press conference after the declaration of the MPC was issued.

The prime minister’s special assistant described the MPC as a ‘political Ruet-i-Hilal committee’ headed by a cleric who was striving to “bring up the moon of power for the whole bunch”.

“The strangest part of the MPC was that the parliamentarians met under the chairmanship of an unelected person who has been rejected by the people,” she said. “[JUI-F chief] Maulana Fazlur Rehman is in panic as he is out of power and his conduct shows that he is only exploiting the name of the religion.”

Conference failed to reach any conclusion, claims PM’s special assistant

Dr Awan came down hard on the participants of the MPC, saying: “All these political gurus saw flaws in everything and were able to dig out the failures in the performance of national institutions but failed to discuss the issue of financial malpractices.

“They analysed everything but it was strange to see that there was no mention of the word ‘corruption’ in the whole declaration... They love this word; that is why they did not decry this word,” Dr Awan added.

She also assailed the declaration for criticising the general elections of 2018, saying that the chief election commissioner and the members of the Election Commission of Pakistan were appointed by the previous PML-N government in consultation with the-then opposition parties, including the PPP.

“Now after 10 months they are claiming that the elections were rigged. Is the Sindh Assembly included in it also?” she asked.

She described the MPC as a failed event where the participants could not reach any conclusion or definite goal, except removal of the Senate chairman.

The special assistant said it was also clear that all the so-called political leaders were pushing their selfish agenda only. “Asfandyar Khan even stabbed the PPP in the back as it was this party that had helped elect the incumbent senate chairman,” she said.

Continuing with her criticism of the opposition parties, Dr Awan said the main concern of the MPC was the commission of inquiry on public debt, the National Development Council, and representation of national defence institutions in these bodies.

“Whatever they are saying is only to please their patrons in India... It was just like what they say in a Punjabi proverb: say it to daughter and convey the message to daughter-in-law. These people were actually giving the message to their patrons abroad.”

Dr Awan also hit out at PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, describing him as a ‘novice politician’ and saying, “This country is not a toy for people like you.”

She said, “Our national institutions are our assets and we must understand that the army is a highly organised and disciplined institution. They are involved with the government in uplift of the country and eradication of corruption from Pakistan.”

However, she added that the government was focused on up-gradation and capacity building of anti-corruption civilian departments and efforts were under way in this regard.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2019