Open balloting need of the hour, says Shibli

By: News Desk      Published: 05:43 PM, 13 Mar, 2021
Open balloting need of the hour, says Shibli

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz on Saturday said that open balloting has become need of the hour for progress and prosperity of the country, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, Shibli said after becoming the largest party in both National Assembly and Senate, PTI government would introduce legislation in the parliament for the reformation of the system and welfare of general public.

The minister said the PTI had now emerged as the single largest party both in the National Assembly and the Senate. He

said that in the last two and a half years, the opposition parties obstructed the legislative process in the Upper House as they did not

believe in the welfare of the masses.

He said unfortunately the PTI was a minority party in the Senate and it could not introduce legislation required to implement its manifesto but now it would introduce bills for reformation in the system.

The minister said that the opposition parties did not bother to cooperate for public welfare legislation as they were interested only in their own welfare. That was the reason they sent only those in the Parliament who could protect the interests of the opposition parties leadership, he added.

Shibli said the dignity of the parliament could only be restored if it takes the decisions in the interest of the masses.

He said the government was ready to sit with the opposition on the matters of economic, electoral and judicial reforms but the opposition wanted that they should be given relief in on-going cases in the courts.

The minister, however, made it clear that no NRO would be given to the corrupt political leaders at any cost. He regretted that the opposition parties were now trying to make the election of Senate Chairman and Deputy Chairman controversial.

He said the elections were held in a free and transparent manner and that these were not influenced. He said the opposition parties would have to see beyond their personal vested interests and they should work for betterment of the country.

He said these parties might go ahead with their planned long march but they would not get any support from the masses.

The minister said that the Prime Minister Imran Khan was striving that the criteria for becoming a member of the parliament should be eligibility and not wealth so that the public welfare related legislation and reformation of the system should be done.

He said that the component parties of the PDM had conflicting interests and they stabbed each other in the elections of Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate.

The minister said the national economy was gaining strength as a result of prudent policies of the present government. “We have stabilized the economy and the country is witnessing record remittances,” he said.

Shibli said the government was fully cognizant of inflation and Prime Minister Imran Khan had been daily monitoring the situation. He said decision had been made to give targeted subsidies to the deserving families. The minister said unlike the past rulers, the present regime had taken practical

steps for the uplift of the areas neglected in the past.

He said for South Balochistan, Rs632 billion package had been announced recently whereas for the tribal districts development budget had been allocated. He said that FATA merger with the KPK was also a big achievement for which credit went to KP government, bureaucracy and local people.

The minister said that the PTI nominated Sadiq Sanjrani for the post of Senate

Chairman as Imran Khan wanted to give representation to Balochistan.

He said it was also the first time in the history that a candidate from the tribal districts was elected as the Deputy Chairman Senate. He said as the former rulers could not take steps to resolve people’s problems and now their parties, PPP and PML-N had become regional parties. The PPP was a party of the entire federation but now it had shrunk to rural Sindh whereas PML-N had also become a regional party, he added.

He Senator Shibli Faraz said the chairman and deputy chairman elections were held as per the Senate rules and hence the related matter was its own business.

The minister explained that Friday’s election was not a common election: it was an election of a member from within the House members and it was a reality. However, Shibli Faraz added that no one could

be stopped from going to the courts while referring to the opposition’s decision to move a court of law against the rejection of

seven votes.

The minister said that there was Article 69 and considered opinion of many legal experts and that what was related to the Parliament and this also be clear that when the election of the senators was held, it

was the responsibility of the Election Commission of Pakistan, whereas

the election of chairman and deputy chairman of the Senate was a

business of the House.

To a question about the opposition’s statement of bringing a no confidence motion, Shibli said it was their legal and

democratic right and they could not be stopped from this, and the government would counter it when that stage would come.

He clarified that by his statement of using every possible and legal means for win of the government candidates meant that all the

possible legal, constitutional and moral means would be employed.

The minister said the opposition on the other hand, would resort to enticing and offering bribes to win support of members. He again accused the opposition of trying to bargain for NRO in lieu of its support on judicial, economic or electoral reforms, which was neither acceptable to the government nor would it go for any compromise.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, he noted, had declared on the floor of the National Assembly for dialogue with the opposition on legislation but they wanted an NRO instead.

The government would welcome their cooperation in terms of judicial reforms, economic reforms or electoral reforms purely in favour of masses but the opposition’s demands were ridiculous, he added.

Regarding inflation and price hike, he said that the government was trying its level best to provide relief to people and again said that price hike of goods was a temporary phenomenon.

He added the government had successfully met challenges on the economic front and the national economy had been stabilized and now the entire focus would be on service delivery and improving governance further.

On the contrary, he claimed the opposition was employing every method to create instability, create law and order situation but PDM was now history, it had been buried and now they should think of starting an innings afresh, though it appeared very difficult for them to do so.

About the discovery of spy cameras in the polling booth, he said that it would be probed and there was a need to know who were behind it and how they managed to install them.

To another question, the minister said that the prime minister had not yet been administered Covid-19 vaccine while he (Shibli) and his family were also yet to be vaccinated, as this had been prioritized for frontline health workers in the first phase.