Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Sunday that he firmly believed that the people of Pakistan will not become a part of the Opposition’s conspiracy of targeting state institutions.
While talking to the media in Multan, FM Qureshi criticised the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) Gujranwala rally for censuring the country’s military establishment.
“Who is called when there are earthquakes, floods or any other natural calamity?” the foreign minister asked. “Why are the state institutions being targeted like that? It is because they [Opposition] have their own agenda,” he added.
The PDM is to hold their second rally in Karachi today that would be hosted by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) as a part of the Opposition’s nation-wide movement to oust the Imran Khan-led government.
In reference to the help that the Pakistan army soldiers provided to the Sindh government during Karachi’s torrential rains, FM Qureshi said that they [PPP] can’t even clean the city’s drains on their own, let alone keep peace in the city.
He said that the Sindh Rangers had been pivotal in restoring peace in Karachi, and armed forces had been helping the provincial government in every calamity, and yet they were insulted.
The foreign minister added that he was a part of the meeting where it was said that the armed forces and the state’s institutions should not be dragged into politics.
“We should learn from our history and pave a better way for Pakistan,” the FM said, quoting a meeting.
The foreign minister questioned why the PDM was targeting the institutions in the Gujranwala rally when they were also present at that meeting.
“Shehbaz Shairf, Bilawal Bhutto, Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Asif and son of PDM’s president Asadur Rahman were present there,” he said asking who else should he named.
He further criticised the Sindh government, saying what sort of justice it expected from them [Centre] when they could not themselves not catch the assassins of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
Moreover, the foreign minister added that the Opposition’s criticism of the judiciary was hypocritical. “When the decision is in their favour they appreciate the judges, but when it is not they say that justice is not served in this country,” Qureshi said.
To a question related to the government’s strategy to counter PDM’s future rallies, FM Qureshi replied that the government will tackle them politically.
“We will not use force,” he stressed. “We are a political party, and they are too,” he said, adding that this is a democratic country.
“No one is stopping the Opposition from being critical of the government. But, they should do so by staying within limits and political attiquetes.”