Shibli Faraz terms PDM 'third piece of axis of evil'

Published October 25, 2020
Information Minister Shibli Faraz addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV
Information Minister Shibli Faraz addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV

Information Minister Shibli Faraz on Sunday termed the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) the "third piece of the axis of evil" with the other two being India and Israel.

While addressing the media in Islamabad following PDM’s public meeting in Quetta, the federal minister said that the reason behind his statement was a slogan ‘azaad Balochistan’ (Free Balochistan) raised by Owais Noorani during the rally.

"He is not from that region and he shouldn't have said things like this. This is what our enemies say, no Pakistani raises this slogan," Faraz said and added that the government will "rid Pakistan of these thieves and robbers".

"When they are in government, everything is good and all institutions are working fine. [But] when they are out of power, they use every weapon, every tactic that harms the country."

He also criticised PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz, saying that she had "no moral authority to say such things and ask such questions". In her speech today, Maryam had once again criticised retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, demanding that he steps down from his position as CPEC Authority chairman and respond to allegations against him and his family of offshore properties and businesses.

During his press conference today, Faraz said: "You (Maryam) and your father have to answer questions. You are convicted by courts and are out [of jail] on bail."

The minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan's purpose for entering politics was to rid Pakistan of "corrupt" leaders. He accused opposition politicians of hiring people based on loyalty instead of merit, which had led to a "brain drain" from the country as talented people had to go abroad for opportunities that they could not find at home.

Referring to PPP Chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Faraz said that the MNA was a "source of entertainment in [country's] politics". PPP, Faraz said, used to be a federal party but was now relegated to a "regional party".

The information minister said that PPP had been involved in corruption scandals for which it had never answered, adding that the party had a "stained past".

Faraz insisted that the government had "no problem" with PDM's rallies but added that the opposition's "agenda" was to protect itself from accountability.

"Their kids are abroad, their properties are abroad, why would they care? It is us who are affected [by corrupt leaders]," Faraz said.

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