ISLAMABAD: The PTI leadership on Tuesday met with diplomats and apprised them of its view on the “overall political situation of the country.

According to PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the foreign diplomats were informed about the “PTI’s point of view on free, fair and transparent elections as per the schedule and putting an end to the prevailing political instability.”

The breakfast meeting with the diplomatic corps was attended by Mr Qureshi, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar and a large number of ambassadors from European and Muslim countries. The participants also discussed the regional situation, according to a statement issued by the PTI.

The meeting was arranged by the High Commissioner of Austra­lia to Pakistan Neil Hawkins.

Qureshi, Umar meet diplomatic corps; Hammad censures govt’s poor economic performance

In the recent past, PTI leaders have met with several diplomats and lawmakers from the US.

In February, PTI Vice President Fawad Chaudhry met US Ambas­sador Donald Blome and apprised him of the ‘worsening human rights situation’ in the country. The meeting was followed by a visit of a delegation of lawmakers from the California assembly who called upon PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

The PTI, while it was in power from 2018 to 2022, used to censure opposition leaders’ meetings with foreign diplomats and legislators. They had also alleged that opposition parties met the diplomats “to hatch a conspiracy” against the sitting government.

Hammad criticises govt

Separately, PTI Focal Person for Economy Hammad Azhar lashed out at the government for pushing the country into “the worst economic crisis”.

He said the federal government was only focused on dealing with PTI Chairman Imran Khan in “an undemocratic and unconstitutional manner”.

In a statement, Mr Azhar said the economy was spiralling downwards despite record low oil prices internationally.

He said that much like the democratic credentials and human rights record of the PDM regime, its economic performance was also unsatisfactory.

Domestic borrowing and inflation have spiked three times compared to the last year of the PTI government, Mr Azhar claimed.

On the meeting of the ruling coalition leaders, the PTI leader stated that the “most rejected political elite” met for six hours but didn’t discuss the state of the economy, the storm of inflation, closing ind­ustries and the plight of the poor.

About police’s “excessive use of power,” Mr Azhar stated the government should ensure that arbitrary or abusive use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials was punished as a criminal offence. He added that superior officers should be held responsible if their subordinates use force against people.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2023

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