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Shibli Faraz distances PM Imran Khan, govt from FIR against Nawaz Sharif

Federal minister Shibli Faraz addressing a press conference after Tuesday’s cabinet meeting. Photo: Screengrab/Geo.tv

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information Shibli Faraz distanced the government from the First Information Report filed against PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, claiming that someone from the opposition may gotten it registered.

“This FIR can be done by anyone. You can do it against me. I will say that someone [opposition] of theirs must have done it,” Faraz told the media in a press conference on Tuesday after the federal cabinet’s meeting.

The minister further said that Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government should not be involved in the matter.

“Punjab government will find out who did this and investigate it. This has nothing to do with us [federal government],” said Faraz. He added that PM Imran was neither “free” neither does he go after FIRs.

“Whoever has done it will be found out and the government has nothing to do with it. Anyone can do it hence you should not put it on us,” said Faraz.

The minister clarified that the prime minister has not called himself the “only patriot” in the country. He added that it has been proved “everywhere” and at the international level that he is a “patriot”.

“We have not issued any certificates of traitorship,” clarified Faraz, adding that the government says the same narrative is being used by certain political leaders that are used by our “enemies”.

“We will infer that you are speaking the enemy’s language. We have not said who is a traitor and who is not a traitor,” said Faraz.

He gave the example of the Financial Action Task Force laws, which he said India wanted to use to put Pakistan on the watchdog’s blacklist.

“Our enemies do not want to see us stable. They want that somehow the country turns into what happened to Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan,” warned Faraz, adding that they will not leave any opportunity to achieve this goal.

He added that the main reason for this was that Pakistan had the option of two leaders, Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif. Comparing the two leaders, Faraz said it was easy to manipulate a leader who has assets in a foreign country.

“When you have assets in another country then your foreign policy, even though it is in your national interest, you won’t be able to pursue it because of your conflict of interest,” Faraz said.

He then said that in the case of Imran Khan, he is a leader “who does not do corruption and neither has any businesses”. He added that Pakistan’s enemies cannot bring Imran Khan under “international pressure” because whatever he has, is in Pakistan.

Faraz maintained that the government was not worried about the opposition and was working towards the country’s prosperity.

Cabinet meeting

Speaking about the cabinet meeting held earlier during the day, Faraz said the sugar and wheat stocks of the country came under discussion. He added that the cabinet was told that the stocks of the country were sufficient according to the current demand.

However, the minister noted that prices in Karachi were higher because the “Sindh government was not releasing wheat”. He also added that the price of the food commodity was high in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to the recent spell of rains which had harmed the provincial output.

Faraz shared that the cabinet was also briefed by PIA officials on the airline’s performance. He added that the cabinet was told that despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues, the PIA earned Rs 7.8 billion in revenue.

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