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We knew opposition won’t resign from assemblies: Qureshi


Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that opposition parties’ decision of not stepping down from legislative assemblies came as no surprise, claiming that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was not willing to sacrifice its government in Sindh.

“Everyone knew that Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) would not resign from assemblies as PPP was not interested to leave its government in Sindh,” he said on Saturday while speaking to media in Multan.

His statement comes amid reports of differences between the two largest opposition parties – the PML-N and the PPP – in the PDM, an 11-party alliance formed to oust the ruling PTI from power.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had suggested tabling a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Parliament while his ally PML-N disagreed with his suggestion.

The opposition alliance had earlier announced to step down from all legislative assemblies in a bid to make country’s Parliamentary system dysfunctional.

However, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman announced earlier in the day that opposition parties would take part in upcoming Senate elections to block the way of ‘incompetent candidates’ from filling the upper house of parliament.

Qureshi in today’s presser said opposition parties are confused about their future course of action against their government.

PPP and PML-N both had completed their five year tenures and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would also complete its constitutional term, he asserted.

He said that eradication of corruption was one of the top priorities of the incumbent government as economic stability was not possible without it.

FM Qureshi said the government had retrieved state land and other properties from grabbers during the last few weeks.

Afghan peace process

FM Qureshi said that Pakistan was committed to sustainable peace in Afghanistan and would continue to facilitate Afghan peace process.

He said that peaceful political settlement in Afghanistan was not only in favour of Pakistan but also for the whole region.

The foreign minister said that Pakistan had played a role of facilitator to bring both parties on the table for dialogue and added that these efforts would continue in future.

He stated that he had a telephonic conversation with United State Secretary of State Antony J Blinken last night during which he congratulated him on assuming the charge of his office.

Qureshi said that different issues were discussed during the conversation, adding that he informed the US secretary of state of priorities of the PTI-led government.

The foreign minister said that he told Secretary Blinken that Prime Minister Imran had a vision that placed premium on forging economic partnership, building a peaceful neighbourhood and enhancing regional connectivity.

The US secretary of state had also been informed about sacrifices Pakistan had rendered in the war against terrorism, he added.

Qureshi maintained that PM Imran and US President Joe Biden had similarities in their priorities as both of them were committed to work on corruption eradication, money laundering, climate change and other issues.

He said that it had been decided during the telephonic conversation that two sides would remain engaged and work together on advancing the bilateral agenda and promoting common interests in the region and beyond.

He went on to say that representatives of US and other countries had been informed about India’s activities against Pakistan, adding that a dossier had already been provided to the world in this connection.

Indian farmers’ protest

The foreign minister said Indian farmers’ protest for their rights in India was becoming more powerful day by day as peasants farmers from other states had also started participating in the protest.

He said New Dehli had tortured and killed protesters but farmers stood committed with their demands. He said that the BJP government wanted to stop protest with the use of force.

Recalling PTI’s efforts to resolve issues of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the foreign minister said that the incumbent government took up the matter effectively and in an unprecedented way under the leadership of PM Imran.

He said that due to PTI-led government’s strategy, the issue had been discussed thrice at United Nations Security Council after 55 years. Similarly, the issue had also been raised in the UK House of Commons, he added.

He said that it was important and in the mutual interest of both the United States and Pakistan that justice was served through legal means in Daniel Pearl case.

Qureshi said the government was striving hard to facilitate masses through controlling inflation. He said that artificial control on dollar prices by the previous government, huge amount of debt left by the previous governments and coronavirus were major reasons behind inflation.

He, however, maintained that the government was making all-out efforts to resolve all such issues.

The foreign minister stated that Pakistan was already in the grey list of FATF when PTI came into power. Pakistan took various steps to meet FATF guidelines on all important matter and the government had made significant progress to control terror financing and money laundering.

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