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December 16, 2019

MPs should exercise their power themselves: Defence Minister Pervez Khattak

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December 16, 2019

NOWSHERA: Defence Minister Pervez Khattak on Sunday ruled out any in-house change and insisted that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would complete its term. He said this while speaking at a public meeting in Lal Kurti in the Nowshera Cantonment where several political workers ended affiliation with their respective opposition parties and announced joining the ruling PTI.

A former councillor Muhammad Ismail, Muhammad Tahir Abdus Salam, Dr Ghulam Haider of Awami National Party, Muhammad Arif Rauf, Muhammad, Muhammad Ibrahim, Khalil Salman, Rafique and Ansar joined the PTI along with family members and friends.

Khattak said three meetings had been held with the opposition parties so far to resolve the issue of appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two other members of the commission, adding the fourth meeting was expected today (Monday). The defence minister said the government wanted to sort out the CEC and its members' appointment issue and other legislative matters in consultation with the opposition parties. He said it would be better if the parliamentarians exercise their power themselves. “We don’t want the parliamentary decision making power shifted to courts,” Khattak added.

The defence minister was critical of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for predicting the fall of the PTI government. “I don’t know why the Maulana is making such predictions. A government cannot be sent packing on the sweet will of someone. It is impossible,” he argued and said the PTI had won the mandate from the masses for five years in the last general election.

Pervez Khattak accused Maulana Fazlur Rehman of damaging the Kashmir cause putting the issue on the back-burner by staging a sit-in in the federal capital. He said the government was making all-out efforts to highlight the Kashmir issue at every forum of the world. “We have spotlighted the sufferings of the hapless people of the occupied Kashmir at the United Nations and lobbied with other countries as well. These steps would continue,” added the defence minister. Pervez Khattak defended the fiscal policies of the government and said these would stabilise the economy in the ultimate analysis.

He acknowledged that the government had taken some difficult decisions which led to price hike but hastened to add and said things would start improving within a few months. Talking of the recent lawyers-doctors tussle in Lahore after the violence at the Punjab Institute of Cardiology, the defence minister said it was a provincial issue and the federal government had nothing to do with it but despite that Prime Minister Imran Khan was in contact with Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar over the matter.

Later, Pervez Khattak inaugurated the gas supply scheme in Wazirabad area of the Nowshera district. Speaking on the occasion, he assured that all areas of Nowshera would get the natural gas facility.

The defence minister was grateful to the people of Nowshera for reposing confidence in him and other members of his family by electing them to the assemblies in the elections to serve them.

Member National Assembly Dr Imran Khattak, MPAs Mian Jamsheduddin Kakakhel, Arbab Jehandad Khan, Ishaq Khattak, Malik Aftab Khan, Usama Malik, Riaz Ali Khan, Sartaj Khan and Ikhtiar Shah were present at the ceremony.

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