ISLAMABAD: The Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry advised the opposition to present an “alternate” if they oppose the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) electoral reforms.
“We wish the 2023 elections [are held under the proposed electoral reforms and] the PTI recommendations on electoral reforms come to Parliament at the earliest,” Fawad said in a news conference after attending the ruling party’s core committee meeting.
The meeting was held in Islamabad under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The minister said that the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser is in touch with the opposition on the issue and is trying to develop consensus on the matter.
“This is not Imran Khan or PTI’s personal issue. We say whoever loses says there is rigging [and] we are recommending a system that will have no complaints of rigging. If you have your own alternate then you can present it as well,” advised Fawad.
Another issue that was discussed in the meeting was inflation, Fawad repeated that the issue was a global phenomenon.
However, the minister was of the view that Pakistan fought with the big challenge with its “weak economy”.
“How many economies are there in the country that have been growing at 5% like Pakistan? Growth in the world is negative [but] in Pakistan growth rate has increased,” said the minister.
Fawad said that the “figures” in the newspapers showed that motorcycle, car and tractor sales have gone up.
“We say petrol has become expensive, but consumption of petrol has increased by 26%. We say electricity has become expensive, but consumption of electricity has increased by 13%,” said Fawad.
The minister said that it was the “salaried class” in the cities that have borne the brunt of inflation but other sections have witnessed an increase in their salary.
PHC ruling on LG polls discussed
Fawad said that another issue that was discussed in the core committee meeting was the Peshawar High Court (PHC) verdict on the local government laws.
The minister said that the court has ruled that the elections are held on based on political parties. But explained that the law states that the union council elections are to be non-party based which has resulted in a troubling situation.
“On this the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has petitioned the court. And we appeal to the Supreme Court to make a decision on this soon so we can move forward,” said Fawad.
Fawad unperturbed by Fazl-Bilawal meeting
When was asked about PPP chairman Bilawal’s meeting with Maulana Fazl ur Rehman, the information minister shared that the opposition is trying to use each other’s support to stand up.
“Opposition has no leader. Bilawal does not even know about Larkana’s streets, what can he know about Pakistan’s politics,” said Fawad. He added that JUI-F chief Fazl had come to Islamabad during PTI’s first year in government and had failed.
PPP, PDM decide to give govt tough time in parliament
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari met Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, after the ice started melting between them.
During the meeting in Islamabad, both the leaders decided to give the government a tough time in the parliament.
The PPP chairman was accompanied by former federal information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and leader of the opposition in the senate and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.
Bilawal and Fazl raised concerns about the rising inflation. The PPP chairman also convinced the PDM chief for an in-house change in the parliament.