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Govt blasts opposition for 'stirring controversy' against state institutions

A day after all-party conference (APC), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) ministers lashed out at opposition leaders particularly deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif accusing him of making state institutions controversial.

Planning Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Shibli Faraz, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry addressed a joint press conference in Islamabad on Monday.

Convicted former premier Nawaz Sharif, who was allowed to fly to London for treatment late last year, broke his long silence during the 11-party conference via video link on Sunday, taking his Vote Ko Izzat Dau mantra to the next level by declaring that the opposition was up not against Prime Minister Imran Khan but against those who apparently had brought him into power in the 2018 elections.

“Indian media is hailing Nawaz Sharif’s speech saying that he made a political comeback after he launched a verbal attack on the Pakistan Army,” Umar said while giving references of several Indian newspapers' headlines.

He said that the country’s enemies are wary of the fact that Pakistan is fast moving on the path of progress, hence, they are hatching conspiracies to create hurdles.

The planning minister also said that the civilian and military leadership is on the same page to resolve the issues of the country. “You can see how both the federal and provincial governments with the assistance of military cope with Covid-19, locusts and other challenges.”

Fawad concurred with the Umar’s view, saying allowing Nawaz to go London for treatment was their government’s mistake. “I knew this that he will not return but Umar did not agree on this.”

Speaking on the occasion, FM Qureshi urged the opposition parties to refrain from dragging national institutions into politics, saying: “It is against the interest of Pakistan”.

He said the Sunday’s moot reflected the opposition’s desperation as “they were not given any NRO or concessions in the corruption cases”.

The foreign minister also set aside the opposition's criticism of failed foreign policy, saying the entire world is acknowledging Pakistan's role as key player in brokering the Afghan peace process.

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