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Fawad Chaudhry says parliamentary system does not allow unelected people to make decisions

The reaction from the minister came after it emerged that four special assistants of the prime minister hold dual nationalities. The News/via Geo.tv/Files

ISLAMABAD: Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Monday the parliamentary system did not allow unelected people to be part of the country’s decision-making process.

Speaking to the media in Islamabad, the minister noted that only elected lawmakers could make decisions about Pakistan and that dual nationals were barred from becoming members of the National Assembly under the Constitution.

“How can dual nationals be part of the cabinet then,” he asked.

The minister’s reaction came after it emerged that at least four special assistants to the prime minister hold dual nationalities.

Chaudhry went on to add that the problems the incumbent PTI-led government currently faced were created by its own members. However, the Pakistani people had pinned high hopes and expectations from the ruling party, he added.

Members of the PTI and Opposition continued to snipe at each other after the government last week disclosed details of the assets and nationalities of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advisers and special assistants.

Information Minister Shibli Faraz in a bid by the government bid to “boost transparency” had announced Saturday that information was now available for public viewing. The details have been shared on the Cabinet Division website as instructed by the premier, he had noted.

It was revealed that four aides — Nadeem Babar, Tania Aidrus, Zulfi Bukhari, and Shahzad Syed Qasim — possessed other nationalities.

Chaudhry, the science minister, also took a jibe at the Opposition parties, saying: “The PML-N does not even know who is going to lead them, whereas for the PPP, [former president] Asif Zardari has worked hard to make it ‘Sindh’s party’.

“Now, [PPP Chairperson] Bilawal Bhutto is trying hard to make it an only ‘interior’ Sindh’s party.”

Talking about the Pakistan Television Network (PTV), the minister said the national broadcaster had no business plan but had increased fees. “I have expressed my concerns in the cabinet,” he added.

Pakistan’s first civil defence R&D project

Speaking of the developmental projects initiated by the incumbent government, the federal minister said Pakistan’s first civil defence Research and Development (R&D) project has commenced, under which 10 police stations in Islamabad have been redesigned.

The police would be given drones for patrolling purposes — which is expected to reduce street crimes, he added.

The minister explained that an agriculture service company would be established with 600 people where soil testing and drone spray would be the top priority, keeping in view the recent locust attacks threatening the country’s agricultural growth.

“We are inviting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for investments in the agri sector,” he said, adding that Pakistan imported over Rs2 billion worth of electromedical devices every year, on which an additional $1 billion were spent in repairs.

“Special Economic Zones are being set up in Sialkot, Karachi, and Lahore in line with our vision to boost development in the country,” he maintained.

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