KOHAT: Federal information minister Shibli Faraz has accused the Pakistan Democratic Movement of putting the lives of people in danger by holding public meetings despite fast spread of Covid-19.

Speaking at ‘meet the press’ programme at the Kohat Press Club during his daylong visit to his home district, Mr Faraz said under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan the country was on the path of economic turnaround.

The information minister along with state minister Sheharyar Afridi also held a meeting with the elders at the press club.

Mr Faraz insisted that past governments left the exchequer empty by criminally plundering it, forcing their successors to go to the IMF for seeking bailout packages.

He claimed that Kohat would see development it did not see in the past 70 years.

He and the state minister had assured him that the Hakla-Kohat Road would be complete by June 2021, which would greatly minimise the travel time to Islamabad.

He said Imran Khan had started Ehsas and Sehat card programmes to provide employment and quality healthcare to the people.

He said the world was all praise for the policy adopted by the government to stem the spread of Covid-19.

The information minister said the government had allowed the PDM to hold rallies as it believed in freedom of speech. However, he said the opposition parties’ alliance was not following the SOPs and considered itself above the law.

He claimed that the number of Covid-19 cases had risen sharply after the PDM’s Peshawar rally and termed it a flop show. He predicted that the PDM’s scheduled rally in Multan would also meet the same fate. He said the PDM leaders were irresponsible as they did not care for the people’s lives.

To a question about gas and electricity shortages in Kohat, the minister expressed his annoyance, and said despite producing gas the district was facing an acute shortage of the commodity.

He blamed the past governments for not exploring new avenues and only relying on decades’ old reserves in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He expressed concern that the natural gas reserves were fast depleting, but said the government was working on a two-pronged strategy, giving more exploration licences to companies and importing LPG and LNG to meet domestic shortages.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2020

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