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June 26, 2020

PM’s slip of tongue being dramatised: SAPM

Top Story

June 26, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister of Pakistan on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill on Thursday said that some foreign media outlets and local leaders are blowing Prime Minister Imran Khan’s slip of tongue out of proportion

In a message he said: “Referring to PM’s speech in NA today, it is clarified that PM twice used the House or on any television channel.

The opposition came hard on Prime Minister Imran Khan for referring to Osama bin Laden as a “martyr (Shaheed)” and said the speech was not meant for the parliament but for someone else. As the prime minister concluded his speech of about one hour and 27 minutes in the National assembly, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar adjourned the session for Asr prayers.

After the break, the opposition leaders including Bilawal and Khwaja Asif were given the floor to speak. Khwaja Asif took exception to declaring Osama bin Laden a “martyr” and said Osama was a terrorist but the prime minister declared him a “martyr”. He called Prime Minister Imran Khan a “corona” for the country.

Bilawal while addressing the National Assembly challenged the prime minister to have a debate on his policies either in the House or on any television channel.

“The prime minister's speech was the speech of a puppet and a selected man, for the selectors. It was not a speech for the people of Pakistan,” he said, adding that Imran Khan had no plan to deal with COVID-19 and only opposed lockdown. He said the lockdown was the time to increase the health capacity of the country, lockdown was the time to equip your hospitals, lockdown was the time to increase ICU beds in hospitals, it was the time to plan to protect the lives and health of people.

He said Sindh is still doing the most tests according to its population and the patients recovery rate is the highest in Sindh. He warned if the situation persists due to the failed policies of the prime minister. “No province in the country would be able to take the burden of the number of patients,” he said.

The PPP chairman said: “If you want to return the amount to the IMF, do not implement lockdown but it is your responsibility to save people from diseases and save their lives.” He said the prime minister is not ready to listen to any doctor or health expert. “It is like the time when there was war in Kargil but we kept saying that there is no war and our soldiers were being martyred,” he said.

Similarly, he said, now the doctors and paramedics are getting infected with the disease and succumbing to the disease but the prime minister refuses to accept the situation. “No risk or any kind of allowance was announced in the budget for our doctors and paramedics who are fighting this pandemic putting their own lives at risk,” he said.

Bilawal said the foreign policy of the country is in a shambles as everyone knows what has happened to the Occupied Kashmir. “The prime minister's attitude is of a coward and a puppet. He is the prime minister who had said that the Kashmir problem will be resolved when Narendra Modi wins the elections,” he said.

He said India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations, securing 184 votes out of 192 and the prime minister calls it a good foreign policy. “Our relations with China were established by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and even during this PTI government, China complained about irresponsible statements about the CPEC,” he said.

He said the prime minister is fond of giving lectures but does not apply the things he preaches to himself. “The prime minister had said that he will answer the opposition's questions in the House every Wednesday, but, in the last two years, he has never been ready to have a debate on any subject,” he said, adding that the PTI government has taken more loans than any other government and it is also a fact that “we achieved the lowest growth rate during this government”. “Imran Khan is trying to hide behind the COVID-19 pandemic but he cannot. The economy was already sagging before the pandemic as has been claimed by government documents,” he said.

He said: “We could have let him hide behind the pandemic if he had taken care of our doctors and paramedics and looked after the people of Pakistan.” He said locust is attacking crops all over the country and the government is still not able to control it despite the fact that “we have been warning the government of this threat”. “Now Pakistan will be facing the threats of health, lives and food security,” he said. He vowed that the PPP will not leave the people of Pakistan alone. He said the government failed to run a campaign to make people aware of COVID-19 in their own mother tongues.

Khwaja Asif said the speech of the prime minister was for someone else. He said the prime minister gave a lecture on the history of Mughal era, which needs to be corrected. He said before the COVID-19 outbreak, there were 5.5 million people unemployed and after the coronavirus, their numbers increased to more than 10 million.

He said Australia was saying that about 23 per cent coronavirus came into their country from Pakistan. “We are now exporting corona and could not close eyes from the facts,” he said and added the coronavirus is not flu. Now the cabinet ministers are also saying that the change did not come. “This government is a symbol of destruction and is like corona which engulfed the country,” he said.

He said the prime minister should tell the nation why Jehangir Tareen has still not returned to Pakistan. In the last two years, the PM has left no room for the opposition to cooperate with the government. “It is now too late to seek the cooperation of the opposition,” he said, adding that India got elected with a large number of votes, meaning that Pakistan has failed to make the world realize India’s atrocities and oppression in Kashmir. “We must look at the ground realities, even our so-called brotherly Muslim countries also voted for India.”

He said the prime minister is doing the politics of constituencies in Islamabad with his political opponents. “They put the blame of 20kg heroin on Rana Sanaullah Khan,” he said, adding that when the prime minister was making promises with people, he should have also checked the real economic situation.