ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday chaired a meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) core committee and decided to take a “stern” action against leaders of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) for using “abusive” language against the rulers.

The meeting also reviewed the issue of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s deteriorating health and his much-needed departure for medical treatment abroad. It decided that the government would accept whatever decision the Lahore High Court (LHC) would take on an application filed on behalf of Mr Sharif seeking lifting of the conditions on his exit from the country.

The meeting discussed issues relating to behaviour of the media and decided to form a committee to review the performance of the government’s media team.

The expected reshuffle in the federal cabinet also came under discussion and it was informed that some slight changes would take place soon in the highest forum of the executive without new inclusions.

PTI’s core committee says govt will have no issue if LHC asks for removal of conditions on Nawaz’s travel

A participant of the meeting told Dawn on condition of anonymity that the ruling party was angry over the speeches delivered by the JUI-F leaders during their sit-in in the federal capital.

“The meeting decided that we should not take such speeches in a routine manner. They [JUI-F leaders] will definitely face the same music which some other politicians and troublemakers had faced,” he added.

An official press release said that the core committee had condemned the “unacceptable” language used by the JUI-F chief during dharna. “The major casualty of this was the Kashmir cause which played into India’s hand,” it added.

It said the committee had decided to examine violation of laws during the speeches made by the opposition leaders during dharna. “The committee was of the opinion that the main opposition leaders showed their opportunism by becoming a party to the dharna, simply to seek a way out of their corruption dilemma,” it said.

The source said the meeting also discussed the issue of Mr Sharif’s health and decided that the government would accept whatever decision to be taken by the LHC.

“If the court asks us to drop conditions set by the government for the departure of Mr Sharif, we will do so, but in that case the responsibility of allowing a convict to leave the country will not lie on the government,” the source said.

The source revealed that some changes were expecting in the federal cabinet soon and former finance minister Asad Umar was likely to become minister for planning and development. The source said the Chinese authorities, engaged under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, had expressed concern over the working of the ministers for communications, railways and planning. “Chinese are even not ready to talk to these ministers because of their inability to make progress on timelines,” the source added.

The core committee decided to form a committee to evaluate the performance of the official media. The committee will comprise PTI stalwart Jahangir Tareen, Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry.

Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2019