• Bajwa meets premier for a second time in two weeks • Performance framework developed for ambassadors
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said the opposition would get nothing out of the foreign funding case against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), as the ruling party had a clean background.
“The opposition has fallen into the ditch it dug for us,” the PM said in a meeting with his spokespersons.
A participant of the meeting told Dawn that the prime minister was quite confident that his party would win the foreign funding case as the PTI did not hide anything related to receiving funds from its supporters and members outside the country.
“We did not receive any funding from ‘banned’ countries — India and Israel,” PM Khan said in response to the opposition’s allegations that his party had received funds from the two countries and used them to topple the last Nawaz Sharif (PML-N) government.
He directed his spokespersons to counter the opposition leaders vehemently at all forums especially in the media on the issue of foreign funding case being heard by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Last week the opposition had staged a protest demonstration outside the ECP headquarters, demanding a decision on PTI’s foreign funding case being awaited since 2014.
Speaking on another important issue of Broadsheet, a UK-based assets recovery firm that has recently won a case against the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after which the government has paid $28 million claim amount to the firm, the PM said: “The government will thoroughly investigate the Broadsheet case and those who had obtained any benefit in the matter will be exposed.”
About the recent anti-encroachment operation in Lahore in which a residence of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was razed, the prime minister said: “The opposition is backing Qabza Mafia.”
Meanwhile, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said the opposition was neither interested in strengthening democracy nor country’s development as it had only lust for power.
“Opposition parties knew very well that Prime Minister Imran Khan was the only political figure who would not make any compromise regarding corruption,” he said, adding that major opposition parties had committed massive corruption during their tenures and registered cases against one another.
Mr Faraz said Nawaz Sharif was enjoying lavish life in London while trying to pretend as a well-wisher of the poor masses of Pakistan.
COAS meets PM
Meanwhile, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt-Gen Faiz Hamid called on the prime minister.
“Matters pertaining to national security were discussed during the meeting,” said an official press release.
It was the army chief’s second meeting with the PM in almost two weeks.
Fawad meets PM
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain called on the prime minister and briefed him in detail about the Drone Authority Ordinance (DAO).
He said with the establishment of drone authority, drone technology would be used for research in various sectors, maintenance of law and order, search and rescue operations, logistics, agriculture and for other peaceful purposes in diverse areas.
The prime minister was also apprised of the achievements of the Ministry of Science and Technology regarding health and electric vehicles and their positive effects on domestic products and exports.
The prime minister appreciated the measures being taken.
A performance framework has been developed for all embassies and ambassadors on a special directive of Prime Minister Imran Khan to address the problems of overseas Pakistanis and improve the performance of embassies.
Under the framework, the government has decided to evaluate the performance of embassies abroad.
This process will help in reviewing the performance of the respective ambassadors on important national and international issues and the report of each ambassador would be sent to the prime minister after 20 days. “Ambassadors who do not work under the framework will be replaced after the approval of the prime minister,” said an official press release.
The key areas to improve performance are addressing grievances of overseas Pakistanis, highlighting country’s positive role in Afghan peace process, facilitating Pakistani products access to international markets and the Kashmir issue. “These can be improved by reviewing the performance of relevant ambassadors,” it said.
Before this there was no such mechanism to check performance of embassies or ambassadors.
Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2021