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ISLAMABAD: Terming Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) a new addition into anti-state elements, the government on Sunday hit hard at opposition parties, saying the ‘axis of evil’ – Israel, India and PDM – have a common agenda to malign the country’s institutions, and cases may be registered if there is an element of ‘rebellion’.

The federal government gave its response through news conferences by two federal ministers, minister for information and broadcasting Shibli Faraz and Minister for Communication Murad Saeed, separately to the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) leaders’ criticism over the PTI government in its Quetta public rally on Sunday.

Terming India, Israel and the PDM as ‘axis of evil’, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz maintained that there was no difference in the anti-Pakistan agenda of India, Israel and the PDM.

He alleged that a PDM leader, Owais Noorani raised a slogan of ‘independent Balochistan’ from stage of PDM’s Quetta rally and no other leader of the opposition came forward to disown and condemn the slogan.

“This is why we are saying that they are pursuing the agenda of our enemies, who are hatching conspiracies in Balochistan…India, Israel and the PDM are the ‘axis of evil’ who are working on the same agenda,” the minister alleged.

When asked whether cases will be framed against Noorani and others for speaking against the state institutions, he said: “This is a much bigger game and its nexus goes to somewhere else.”

“Don’t see Owais Noorani’s remarks in separation, rather it is part of the narrative being pursued by our enemies. Obviously, if someone is giving such a statement from a political forum, then cases can be framed against all of them, because no one came up to condemn it [Noorani’s remarks],” he said.

He added that leadership of 11 to 12 political parties were present in the rally and no one condemned the slogan raised by Noorani. “It means, they all are involved in it and we also have to see the element of ‘rebellion’ in it,” the minister added.

He said that Balochistan’s geographical position is very important, where the enemies, particularly India has been fomenting terrorism and promoting separatist elements while its spy Kulbhushan Jadhav was also arrested from the province.

“They [opposition parties] are all seemingly involved in it [anti-Pakistan campaign], as the narrative is the same of the opposition with India and Israel…they [opposition] can go to any extent for their own vested interest…the people and government will seek an explanation from them [opposition] for their talking of rebellion against the state…that’s why cases of different nature can be framed against them,” Faraz further stated, adding that they are attacking the country and there should be ‘practical measures’ against them.

He continued that this is an attack on the state of Pakistan, and the state will not act as a silent spectator, adding action will be taken as per law and the constitution as no one is above Pakistan, its Constitution and the state institutions.

“People may come and go, but the institutions stay there,” he added.

To a question, he said that a high level meeting would take place today (Monday) in which it would be discussed and decision would be taken as to whether we can allow such kind of attacks on the state institutions and as to what kind of practical measures can be taken.

He said the people of Pakistan are aware of the sacrifices of Pakistan Army and security agencies in successfully fighting war on terrorism and averted Pakistan from becoming Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

“It is unfortunate that an absconder was allowed to make a speech and talk negative about country's institutions,” he said while referring to former premier Nawaz Sharif’s address to the rally.

He said it would have been better if the opposition talked about sanctity and respect of the Holy Prophet [Peace Be Upon Him] as was done by Prime Minister Imran Khan at the UN General Assembly instead of maligning state institutions.

Speaking at a press conference separately, Minister for Communication Murad Saeed said that people of Pakistan should understand as to why the Indian media has been giving huge coverage to the PDM’s rallies, especially the statements of Nawaz Sharif against the country’s institutions.

He urged the nation to demonstrate unity to counter the Indian and Israeli campaign against Pakistani institutions and the Prime Minister.

He also alleged that that opposition parties want to see Pakistan on Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) blacklist, adding that the opposition tried to get ‘National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)’ when the government was doing FATF-related legislation.

He further alleged that former premier Nawaz Sharif was carrying out Indian narrative, adding that his statements about Mumbai attacks and the ‘Dawn Leaks’ were presented as proofs in the international court by New Delhi. “In fact, India has done investment over Nawaz Sharif,” the minister further alleged.

He also referred to an Indian media report in which Indian officials had allegedly stated that Indian investment went wasted with the defeat of Nawaz Sharif’s party in the previous general elections.

“One has to see as to who is beneficial of the statements of Nawaz Sharif – Pakistan or India?” he asked, adding that India wanted to weaken Pakistan’s institutions and ‘no one should be part of the India’s propaganda’.

He claimed that the opposition was pursuing the campaign against Prime Minister Imran Khan and the country’s institutions on the behest of India and Israel.

He maintained that Prime Minister Khan had highlighted the rising Islamophobia in the west, raised the issues of Kashmir and Palestine at global forum, ‘due to which the international powers turned against him’.

The minister said that Prime Minister Khan has exposed Modi and RSS’s fascist approach in Indian Illegal Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) before the world community and also raised the issue of blasphemous caricatures at international forums.

He also claimed that the plan for the ‘Dawn Leaks’ was prepared in London. He further alleged that Nawaz prioritised his personal business over national interest while ‘pursuing the Indian narrative’.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020