ISLAMABAD: Amid a rise in terror attacks across the country, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday linked the resurgence of terrorism with what he called the “reversal of PTI government’s policy on Afghanistan”.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the former information minister said Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari did not understand the situation in Afghanistan. He added if the situation in Kabul deteriorated it would have negative implications for Islamabad as well.

Mr Chaudhry claimed that former prime minister Imran Khan was the “only respected Pakistani leader” in Afghanistan because his “hands were not tainted with the blood” of Afghans.

He added that bombs and missiles were not a solution and that matters should be resolved through dialogue.

The PTI leader also highlighted the situation in the former Fata region and said since its merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the government did not spend any money on the development of the tribal districts.

He went on to claim that the cabinet never got a briefing on the Afghanistan situation and on the merger of the erstwhile Fata region. He said the interior minister did not even visit Wana to make himself aware of the problems faced by the locals.

Fawad terms idea of setting up technocrat government a ‘joke’

‘Technocrat government’

The PTI leader also talked about rumours of a ‘technocrat setup’ being proposed to replace the PDM government. He said the idea of sending the PDM government packing and installing a long-term technocrat government was under consideration to stop Imran Khan from coming back to power.

He warned that a system in contrast to the Constitution was not acceptable and PTI would resist such attempts.

Terming the alleged idea of installing a technocrat setup and importing a technocrat from the US a ‘joke’, he said a technocrat government could not solve the country’s current issues, as it would plunge the country into a host of problems and then these technocrats would flee.

He said that the National Assembly speaker and the Senate chairman were prestigious posts throughout the globe, but in Pakistan, the incumbent speaker and the chairman were oblivious to the dignity associated with their offices.

The PTI leader alleged Rs1.7 billion was spent on foreign tours undertaken by FM Bhutto-Zardari since the change of government in April.

He also claimed that the PTI lawmakers did not draw salaries after their resignations from the assembly and alleged PTI leaders’ salaries might have been received by the PDM members.

The PTI leader alleged PM Shehbaz Sharif went to China with a delegation comprising 43 members, but Beijing told them it would only host five officials and asked the premier to pay for the rest of the delegation.

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2022

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