KARACHI: Federal Information Minister, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Sunday said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) believed in supremacy of parliament and wanted to settle all issues in the house to strengthen the democracy.
The minister addressing a press conference here at Karachi Press Club said that government had introduced amendments to reform electioneering system in the parliament but the opposition was convening all parties’ conference out of ambit of the parliament.
Attaching priority to elements sitting outside of parliament would weaken the democratic system, he opined and stressed that the parliament was the proper forum to deal with the matters of national importance.
Prime Minister Imran Khan floated the idea of neutral umpire in cricket and now he was advocating for a neutral election commission and such a system that would be acceptable for all, he added.
He demanded of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to ensure the implementation of Article 140-A of the constitution across Pakistan, especially in Sindh.
Fawad Chaudhry said that that it was unfortunate that the enemies of the Sindh province are currently ruling it. “This was the last election, they have won as next time Imran Khan will personally lead the election campaign in the province,” he said adding that there is no alternative to the PTI government in the country. The minister said the opposition had no agenda for progress of the country nor they had any foreign policy neither economic agenda.
The unnatural alliance of opposition parties would not succeed in its agenda of protection of vested interests as they lacked vision and public support, he remarked.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had a clear agenda for long term growth, uplift and sovereignty of Pakistan, he noted, adding that economic indicators had improved, agriculture production witnessed record increase while large scale manufacturing revived and overseas Pakistanis sent record remittances; resultantly GDP growth had risen to 4 percent.
Fawad said that Imran Khan would lead the campaign in Sindh during next general elections and next government in the province would be formed by PTI as it was not possible for PPP to win the elections on the basis of its performance.
Stressing on monitoring of development budget, he said that a mechanism was in offing for monitoring of PSDP projects so that proper utilisation of funds and relief to the masses could be ensured.
It seemed that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was unaware of Article 140-A which required provinces to establish a local government system, convene provincial Finance commission and devolve political, administrative and financial responsibility and authority to the elected representatives of the local governments so that basic issues of the masses could be resolved, he said.
“We do not expect that the chief minister Sindh will take any measure in this regard, due to which, we are appealing the Supreme Court to look into the matter and ensure implementation of Article 140-A in the province,” he said adding that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had already constituted the Provincial Finance Commission (PFC) and the process to continue in Punjab where PFC would be announced this year.
The PTI government had issued over Rs1800 billion in previous two years under NFC award to Sindh while Rs700-750 billion were earmarked for the province for financial year 2021-22, the minister said, adding that despite receiving such a large amount, development in Sindh and even in Karachi was not visible.
The federal government wanted Provincial Finance Commission (PFC) be constituted so that Karachi and all other districts of Sindh could get their due share in the provincial resources and development budget, he explained and said that right now those funds were not being utilised properly and being transferred abroad.
The PPP’s Sindh government was not convening Provincial Finance Commission neither financial resources and administrative powers were being devolved to local governments that showed that there was no democracy in Sindh and the province was under dictatorship.
The minister said that PTI government was committed to resolve issues being faced by the people of Sindh but PPP was creating hurdles in every positive move of the federal government.
Speaking on issues of journalist fraternity, Fawad informed that PTI government was committed to provision of facilities to Journalists across the country, and relevant matters were being channelized.
A package would be introduced in PM’s Housing and Kamyab Jawan programmes for journalists while training opportunities for their capacity building be offered as well, Fawad said and informed that short courses of digital media would be arranged in collaboration with press clubs.
On a query regarding nuisance in National Assembly, the minister said that though sentiments were very high, it should not had taken place but situation had improved. He said the Parliament would strengthen when all the important decisions would be taken and issues should be resolved inside the house.
Shehbaz Sharif wanted to settle the issues out of the parliament because he had no influence within PML-N and he needed backing of Nawaz Sharif or Maryam Safdar, the minister said and observed that the party chanted slogan of honour the vote but they themselves did not respect the parliament.
To a question about distribution of irrigation water, Fawad said that PPP of Zulfiqar Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto was a federal political party but incumbent leadership of PPP was restraining it to a province. “Bilawal was alleging Punjab of water theft but when IRSA suggested monitoring of water flows at entry points, CM Murad Ali Shah run away,” he added.
PPP leadership was creating misconceptions and blaming others but in fact they were the real enemies of people of Sindh, Fawad said adding that not Punjab but PPP leadership were stealing the irrigation water and depriving small growers from their share of water.