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April 30, 2020

Time not right to talk 18th Amend: Shibli

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April 30, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz has said this is not the right time to start a national discussion on changes in the 18th Constitutional Amendment, so the government has no plans to initiate any kind of talks with the opposition parties in this respect.

Talking to The News, he said “There are lots of people talking about changes or amendments in the 18th Amendment. But I will say that the government is currently focusing on fighting COVID-19 pandemic and preparing people-friendly budget. Therefore, in simple words we are not going to holds talks with the opposition parties with regard to the 18th Amendment.”

He said: “The government needs two-thirds majority in Parliament to introduce changes or amendments in the 18th Amendment so at this stage we cannot divert our energies towards it due to ongoing fight against COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to address the economic challenges confronting the nation.”

To a question, he said: “In my personal opinion there are some weaknesses in the 18th Amendment that must be addressed by developing consensus among all the political parties.”

“It is really difficult for us at the moment to initiate hectic talks with the opposition parties and develop consensus for changes in the 18th Amendment,” he said.

Replying to another question about opinion of some other ministers, he said “I tell it with authority that Prime Minister Imran Khan has not discussed the issue of 18th Amendment in the last cabinet meeting and even he did not hold any kind of meeting to get input from anyone on this topic.”

Answering a question, he said “I think all the political parties will have to hold a debate over 18th Amendment in future to address the issues related to financial discipline and national economy.”

The federal minister for information said, “I don’t know whether some clauses in 18th Amendment are creating concerns about the security issues as I have not heard about them from the prime minister or any other member of the federal cabinet.”

He categorically stated :“The government never wants to control media as it believes in freedom of press. A strong media always provide strength to the government and the country as well.”