QUETTA: Caretaker Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi on Friday said there was no substance in former PTI chairman Imran Khan’s accusations with regard to illegal immigrants who returned to their countries voluntarily.
“The accusations by the PTI former chairman in his tweet are baseless. About 0.5 million illegal immigrants have left the country voluntarily and none of them was forced out of the country,” he said while addressing a press conference along with caretaker Provincial Information Minister Jan Achakzai.
He said Pakistan was acknowledged for its hospitality in the world and added that the tweet was just a tactical move to gain political mileage over other political parties against the backdrop of the upcoming general elections.
“It seems to me that via this tweet an attempt is being made to create an environment to garner the sympathy of Afghanistan’s government, a government that is not recognised by any country officially. And indirectly to gain the sympathy of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan [TTP] members sent by the [Afghan government] and create such an atmosphere in the next elections that his party gains an advantage in a way over other political parties.”
He said if this was so, it would be most “unfortunate because the need is that all parties have equal security and opportunity in the elections”.
Solangi said it was necessary to ask the PTI chief and his aides under which agreement, and without asking parliament, “thousands of TTP terrorists” were allowed to resettle in Pakistan before the end of the PTI government’s term.
The interim information minister also questioned the credibility of Imran’s post, saying that the facility to post on social media was not being provided to the incarcerated PTI leader. He wondered whether the statement had indeed been posted by him.
“If this really is his opinion, I wish that he had also spoken about the difficulties of 250 million Pakistanis instead of trying to represent the illegal Afghans in Pakistan”, he said.
To a query, he said the caretaker government was determined to conduct fair elections in the country. “There should be no doubt regarding the conduct of the general elections in the whole country on February 8, 2024,” he said, adding that it was the responsibility of the caretaker government to meet financial, administrative or security requirements of the ECP, which it would discharge along with four provincial governments. He reiterated that the preamble of the constitution clearly stated that the country would be run by its elected representatives.
Solangi said the Pakistan Stock Exchange 100-Index crossed the 66,000 mark, in addition to improvement in the rupee-dollar parity. The next government would surely have the country in a better financial state. He said some elements had been spreading rumours that Pakistan was not on the IMF agenda, but today Bloomberg reported that the country was on the agenda of the IMF Board meeting on January 11. “We are happy that the country is moving towards economic stability,” he said and added that during his visit to the PTV Quetta Centre, there was a discussion regarding the terrestrial broadcasting of PTV Bolan.
To a question, he said that the caretaker government’s powers and duration were limited, but it would take all possible steps for the betterment of the Quetta Press Club and the welfare of Balochistan journalists.
To another query, he said some political parties were demanding a level-playing field just to play a victim card that would help them get sympathy from the electorate. He made it clear that the caretaker government had no favourite political parties in the electoral race. Solangi also said that representatives of all political parties, including the PTI, were being invited to current affairs programmes of the state-run TV and radio as it was a registered political party like others.
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