ISLAMABAD: The PPP has blasted government ministers for allegedly making “irresponsible statements” and using harsh language against opposition parties, and has asked the chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of a statement made by Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan which, according to the party, amounts to inciting the public to kill political opponents.
At a news conference on Tuesday, PPP Information Secretary Dr Nafisa Shah, accompanied by her deputy Palwasha Khan and the party’s media coordinator Nazir Dhoki, said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had contaminated the political environment of the country by using “container language”.
She said it seemed that there was no law in the country as one federal minister was “openly inciting people of killing political opponents”.
The PPP leaders held the press conference a day after Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan during a media talk in his hometown Taxila, during which he alleged that the PPP and the PML-N had stolen the wealth of the country, stating that “all those who have plundered the national wealth are liable to be killed.”
Mr Khan, who had previously served as the minister in one of the PPP governments, said the politics of the PPP and the PML-N leaderships were based on corruption and money laundering and they had looted the national exchequer ruthlessly during their terms in government.
Referring to the controversy over the issue of Pakistani pilots’ licences, Dr Shah said the aviation minister through his ”irresponsible statement” had already destroyed the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
Dr Shah also referred to the recent remarks by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in which he had criticised Saudi Arabia and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) for not fully supporting the country on the Kashmir issue. She said that just one statement by the foreign minister had upset friends of Pakistan.
In response to a recent controversy over the health condition of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Dr Shah said it was Prime Minister Imran Khan who had himself sent him abroad and was now making hue and cry.
After sending Nawaz Sharif abroad, she said, the prime minister was now saying that he would not give an NRO (a term used in place of deal) to him.
“One Niazi surrendered in 1971 [in East Pakistan] and the other has surrendered Kashmir,” she said.
Dr Shah also called for constituting a commission to probe the use of $11 billion that the present government obtained through foreign loans. She criticised the government’s economic policies, saying the prices of sugar were highest in the last 12 years. She said the growth rate was negative for the first time in the history of Pakistan.
The PPP leaders said that this year, unprecedented rainfall had disturbed Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and other cities. They said the National Disaster Management Authority should treat every area equally.
In response to the aviation minister’s remarks, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb had also lambasted the government and said the PTI leadership was still using the “language of containers” — a reference to the speeches made by Imran Khan during the 126-day sit-in in Islamabad in 2014.
She alleged that those who had plundered the national wealth were actually sitting with Mr Khan in his cabinet. She said that for the last two years, people had been plundered through unemployment, inflation and ever increasing prices of sugar and wheat flour.
“If [the PML-N] had looted the wealth then why was sugar available for Rs52 per kilogram while its price is now Rs110 per kilogram, and wheat flour, which was available at Rs50 per kilogram, is now being sold at Rs100 per kilogram,” she asked.
PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bukhari, responding to the aviation minister’s statement, said that Ghulam Sarwar Khan had also remained part of the PPP for years and, therefore, he should face the same fate. He said the language used by Mr Khan did not suit a man with the portfolio of a minister.
He said if someone had committed a crime or corruption, state institutions like the National Accountability Bureau and the courts were there and he should be brought to justice, instead of indulging in a blame game.
Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2020