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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led coalition government will complete its constitutional tenure, putting an end to the speculation around the London meetings with regard to early election.

She was speaking at a news conference after returning from London where Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif along with a number of PML-N ministers and senior party leaders held several rounds of meetings with party Quaid Nawaz Sharif with regard to the ongoing political and economic crises in the country.

Responding to a question, the minister said that the current government has a constitutional tenure after the passage of the no-confidence motion against the former premier Imran Khan, which will end with its constitutional term.

She said that it is a coalition government and the decision with regard to the new elections will be taken in consultation with the coalition partners.

First phase of cabinet formation finalised, oaths likely today

The minister said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was on a trip to the UAE for condolences on the passing of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and he would take the nation into confidence about the decision, as well as, the future strategy soon after his return from the UAE.

She said that decisions would be taken with collective wisdom so there were long consultations in London and the strategic plan devised will be presented by Prime Minister Shehbaz in an address to the nation after consultations with the allied political parties on the strategy.

She said that their visit to London was of a private nature, adding that detailed discussions were held on the prevailing political situation, as well as, about the strategy to deal with the rising inflation.

At present, she added that a strategy is being devised as to how the burden of inflation could be reduced and how to bring confidence back into the economy.

She added that the previous government’s subsidy on petrol and the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also came under discussion in detail as to how to protect the people from its effects.

She maintained that when Imran Khan found out that a no-confidence motion was coming against him and his coalition partners were leaving him, he gave an “illegal subsidy”.

“Imran Khan is responsible for the current rising prices of petroleum products, dollar, and the high inflation,” she said, adding that his government had signed the agreement with the IMF.

Aurangzeb further stated that the events surrounding the no-confidence vote against Imran Khan were also discussed in the London meetings, adding that a decision was made to deal with any element that violates the law or Constitution.

Asked to comment on the PTI chairman Imran Khan’s recent remarks about the “neutrals” and how they did not opt to thwart the “foreign conspiracy” against him, she said that the right to freedom of speech did not cover remarks against institutions or hate speech, adding: “anyone doing so would be proceeded against according to the law.”

“When you attack state institutions then there will be legal action against you and this is the government’s responsibility which it knows how to carry out,” she warned.

She accused Imran Khan of creating chaos in the country, adding that the PTI chairman has allegedly tarnished Pakistan’s image, damaged relations with friendly countries, destroyed the country’s foreign policy and lied to the youth.

“Imran Niazi is responsible for the economic catastrophe, the current rising prices of petrol and dollar, and the high inflation,” she maintained.

About the PTI’s rally in Sialkot, she said that no one has stopped the PTI from holding rallies in the country and stressed that the government was not afraid of Khan’s speeches and their rallies.

“Your hate-mongering speeches will benefit us,” she told the PTI chairman, adding that the CTI Boys High School’s management had written a letter to the deputy commissioner of Sialkot on May 9, stating that the Church’s ground was a place of worship for the Christian community and that no rally should be held in the ground.

She added that the Christian community has a historical background within Sialkot, and the Christian community has a major role in the development of Sialkot and the development of Pakistan.

She said that the Christian community protested against the PTI rally at the CTI Ground, adding that the PTI was asked to shift their rally to the Sports Gymnasium.

“It’s the government’s duty to give due right to the Christian community and protect them,” she said.

Responding to Imran Khan’s message that he would be coming to Sialkot, she said: “Do come; who is stopping you. Nobody is afraid of you. The people have seen your real face.”

She said that the PTI leaders during their press conference are threatening of a “bloody march” onto Islamabad. “If Imran Khan calls for a bloody march, then it is Rana Sanaullah’s responsibility to ensure public safety,” she said, adding that nobody has the right to hold a “bloody march”.

She also alleged that the PTI chairman was using resources of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the provincial government’s helicopter for his rallies.

Referring to one of the statements of Imran Khan, the minister said that the one who is responsible for the current economic crisis is saying that ‘it would have been better to drop an atom bomb on Pakistan instead of giving the government in the hands of the ‘thieves’.’

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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