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August 18, 2019

PTI govt arresting opponents to divert public attention, says CM


August 18, 2019

By arresting leaders of political parties in the opposition, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led federal government is following the policy of political victimisation to divert the public attention from internal and external issues being faced by the country.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said this as he spoke to the media on Saturday after attending Soyem of the mother of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Malik Asad Sikandar.

He said the country was passing through a very critical phase in which two problems were worsening day by day, of which the first and the foremost was the price hike that had badly affected the purchasing power of the people who were now not able to afford square meals, and the other serious issue was Kashmir.

The CM said the PTI government was incapable of controlling the situation, due to which it had started political victimisation so that the public attention remained diverted from the serious issues.

To a question, Shah said PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari was cooperating with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and appearing in courts to face the cases against him. “In such circumstances, his arrest was unjustified and unreasonable,” the CM said, adding that the PTI government was afraid of Zardari, therefore it had put him behind the bars.

Replying to a question about the statement of Federal Minister Faisal Vawda regarding arrests of over 500 opposition leaders, the CM advised the media not to take Vawda seriously. “I don’t see him anywhere in near future,” he remarked and asked the media to “let him release his frustration”.

According to the CM, the PTI ministers were habitual of giving irresponsible and baseless statements just to gain public attention but people knew them very well.

Shah said Zardari was a brave and sensible political leader. “He has seen imprisonment in fictitious cases in the past and is again facing political cases now. This cannot yield him,” he said.

To another question, the CM said PPP MPAs were united under the leadership of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. “They [MPAs] are loyal to the party and the leadership and nobody can change their loyalty.”

He added that he along with his cabinet members was working hard to resolve the genuine problems of the people of Sindh. “It is the result of our service to the people of Sindh that they elect the PPP to power every time with more majority.”

The CM said that he has old relationship with Sikander. He told media persons that Sikander’s father was also a friend of his father.

After the arrest of Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, the PPP leaders have been claiming that their party is being victimised to divert the public attention from genuine issues.

On Thursday, Sindh Minister for Information & Archives and Labour Saeed Ghani told a press conference that the leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was being victimised in the name of accountability.

He termed the measures being adopted by NAB against the leadership of the PPP unconstitutional. The minister said that the same thing was done against Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who faced capital punishment in a fake case. It was on the record that the superior judiciary apologised but quite late, he added.

He said that it was the only case in the judicial history of Pakistan which was heard in the high court instead of the session court.

Ghani said that even after the passage of five to six years, the Supreme Court had yet not expressed its opinion on the reference which was filed by the then president Asif Ali Zardari in accordance with the constitution about the same case of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

He said that what followed was the filing of a series of fake cases against former president Zardari, who was arrested in fake cases like murder and possession of heroin. But even after spending 11 years in prison, he could not be convicted in any of the case as they were completely baseless, Ghani said.

He added that the same was done with Shaheed Benazir Bhutto as she was indicted in fake cases and subjected to a media trial. Unfortunately, she had to attend hearings of the fake cases filed against her in different cities on the same day with her children, the minister said. He said that the PML-N and the establishment during that period violated the constitution of Pakistan just to harass the PPP leadership.

Ghani said that the time once again proved that Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was also vindicated but no one apologised over it.

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