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LAHORE: Announcing that the time has come to send the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government home, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Khawaja Saad Rafique said on Monday that there will be long march as well as no-confidence motion against the government.

Talking to media, here, Saad Rafique alleged that the Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance 2022, was promulgated with a mala fide intention and the PTI government must stop promulgating ordinances.

“The purpose of the Ordinance was to exert pressure on the media and stifle the opposition; one day all these ordinances will be withdrawn, and those promulgating them will come crashing down,” he added. He said that the government is making these new laws just to silence the voices of the opposition and the media so that they cannot criticise the PTI’s incompetence.

Answering a question, he maintained that ordinances are promulgated only when the parliament was not in session. “I have been extremely disappointed by President Arif Alvi, who is only serving Prime Minister Imran Khan and thus bringing a bad name to the President House,” he said, adding: “The nation is screaming and praying to the Almighty to rid them of this government, but the Prime Minister and his team have no shame.”

When asked about the meeting between PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif and estranged PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen, Saad said that he would not comment on that.

Answering a query about Pakistan railways, the PML-N leader claimed that when he was the minister for railways, they made turn-around in the organization, taking the railways profit to Rs50 billion and also considerably brought down the deficit. “We were going in a right direction, but when Sheikh Rasheed took over, he, in a bid to erase our achievements, decimated the department instead,” he alleged. “Even today, there are honest officers in the Pakistan Railways, and it was government’s job to get work from them, but sadly this government is not focused on its job,” he said.

Referring to Imran Khan’s speech at Mandi Bahauddin, the PML-N leader said that the tone used by him did not suit the man who heads the country as Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, in his tweet, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said that so-called ‘defamation’ amendment to Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance (PECA) shows the real fascist face of the ruling clique.

Shehbaz lashed out the government for promulgating the Ordinance and said after imposing curbs on mainstream media, they are out to muzzle social media. Could the incumbent government go against the currents of time and could the truth remain silent, he added.

It may be added that under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance 2022, anyone who is found guilty of attacking the identity of a ‘person’, whose definition has been broadened to include any company, association, institution, organisation, authority, or any other body, will now be sentenced to five years instead of three years in prison.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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