• Says ‘all issues’ between civil, military leadership settled
• Insists opposition cannot come to power by criticising PM
• Claims prices of various commodities, including flour, brought down
ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday said “all issues” between the civil and military leadership had been settled and a notification of the new Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general would be issued during the current week.
Talking to reporters on Monday, Mr Chaudhry denied reports that a new summary with names of candidates for the office of ISI chief had been sent to the Prime Minister Office.
Criticising the opposition, Mr Chaudhry said: “It [opposition] is thinking that there are some differences between the government and security institutions but its euphoria is gradually fading.”
He said the opposition always talked about democratic credentials but ended up seeking a deal to evade accountability.
Opposition leaders are always ready with their curriculum vitae to jump on the bandwagon once they assume there are differences between the government and state institutions, Mr Chaudhry said, adding that “when they come to know that they are not going to get any relief in their corruption cases from the government, their guns suddenly turn towards state institutions”. The minister said basically the opposition was not only devoid of political thinking, but also lacked administrative and economic policies.
It cannot come to power by criticising Prime Minister Imran Khan and instead should do some introspection and revise its policies, he added.
Mr Chaudhry once again invited the opposition to work with the government to bring reforms, but ruled out any possibility of holding discussions with its leaders on corruption cases.
He claimed that prices of various commodities, including wheat flour, had been brought down while a visible reduction in the cost of sugar was also expected in the wake of bumper sugarcane crop.
The minister said wheat flour price was only high in Sindh due to delay on the part of the provincial government in releasing the commodity, adding that from today, Sindh had started releasing wheat flour and it was hoped that its price would reduce in the province.
He regretted that the opposition boycotted the National Assembly proceedings on Monday despite knowing that the day was dedicated to speeches on Seerat-un- Nabi. “There should be limit to everything and there is no need to do politics on everything,” he added.
In reply to a question, he said there were multiple commodities, including wheat and electricity, on which subsidy was being given, adding that the entire country could not be run on subsidy.
“The debt worth $12 billion would have to be repaid this year; the opposition should be told that if they had not taken such huge amounts of loans, several items could have been subsidised,” he added.
Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2021