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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Monday warned the opposition parties in the parliament to refrain from dragging national institutions into politics as it would not serve any interest of the country.

Addressing at a joint press conference on Monday, along with Information Minister Syed Shibli Faraz, Planning Minister Asad Umar, and Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, the foreign minister said the opposition party's conference on Sunday was a mere reflection of their desperation for not getting any concession or national reconciliation ordinance (NRO) from the ruling party.

The conference was held a day after the major opposition parties had announced launching of a three-phased anti-government movement under the banner of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

The minister said that the opposition had also come to the conclusion that the cases against them were near their logical conclusion; hence, this was a desperate move.

Rejecting the opposition's objections on foreign policy of the country, the minister said that the entire world had acknowledged Pakistan's role as a facilitator in the Afghan Peace Process.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was the only party who talked about peace process on Afghanistan, he added. Intra-Afghan negotiations have begun for lasting peace in the country, which was a great achievement of the present government, he maintained.

Regarding Kashmir issue, the foreign minister said that the present government had raised the ongoing violence in Jammu and Kashmir at the UN General Assembly, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, world human rights bodies, and other global forums.

He maintained that the opposition was criticising the government's Kashmir policy, while supported the government to get passed resolutions on Kashmir unanimously from the parliament.

Refuting opposition's claim that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was being rolled back, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said all the projects of the CPEC were rolling on and would be completed within the stipulated time period.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Shibli Faraz said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in his address to the forum of opposition parties had raised suspicions about the election process because he was not used to a free and fair election.

Nawaz Sharif's speech had raised suspicions about the election process because his party was unable to garner votes in the 2018 elections. He said that the general elections in which he was elected the prime minister thrice were right but because in this one he was unable to form the government, he raised objections.

The minister maintained that opposition were not helping democracy and were trying to discredit a political setup, which they claimed to own. The minister said that Nawaz in his address looked hale and hearty even against a claim that he was seriously ill. He (Nawaz Sharif) was staying in London on the pretext of health issues, but apparently he seems hearty, he added. Asad Umar said that the democratic system was fully functioning here, while civilian and the military leadership were collectively working to take the country forward.

"The government and the military are collaborating in all matters, including Covid-19, locust attack, realisation of Karachi transformation programme, and development in Balochistan," he added.

Asad Umar said unfortunately, the opposition had waged war on state institutions, including the military, judiciary, and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for not acting to its dictates.

He claimed that former rulers had deliberately created an economic crisis in the country to give tough time to the PTI government. He said the government successfully overcame this challenge and faded all the hopes of the opposition to trample the new dispensation.

He maintained it was regrettable that the opposition opposed the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-related legislation to prevent Pakistan from falling into the FATF's blacklist, and to bring the country out of its grey list. He said Nawaz Sharif's address was celebrated in India as quoted by some leading Indian media houses.

Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the government set a new tradition by allowing live broadcast of speeches of opposition leaders. "Nawaz Sharif wants to use institutions to protect his corruption, and on refusal, he turned against them," he added.

He maintained that former prime minister had failed to develop a working relationship with any of the army chiefs during his three terms as the chief executive of the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020