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September 14, 2020

Govt, opposition in war of words over Kashmir policy

Top Story

September 14, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government and opposition had a heated exchange of words on Sunday over the Centre's current Kashmir policy, with the opposition asking whether the government had "struck a deal" over the disputed region.

The PML-N's Ahsan Iqbal, slamming the government, said that in the past, there have been "weak and strong" governments, but India never dared to change the status of India.

"Why did this happen in Imran Niazi's (tenure)? Does the 'new Pakistan' seem weak to India or has the leadership struck a deal over Kashmir?" Ahsan Iqbal asked in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, during a media briefing, Ahsan Iqbal had lambasted the PTI for its governance so far and said that the opposition would roll out a plan on September 20 to send the government packing.

"This government should resign immediately," Ahsan Iqbal said, adding that the PML-N would go into the all parties conference (APC) with a "comprehensive policy".

Talking about the recent Lahore-Sialkot Motorway gang rape, Ahsan Iqbal said that it was during this government that fingers were raised at the victim and not at the culprits. The PML-N secretary-general claimed that PTI had politicised the tragic incident and that it was the government's duty to arrest the culprits.

"The government allowed the suspects to flee after leaking their identities," he said.

The government only conducts meetings of its spokespersons for devising policies on "how to take revenge", Ahsan Iqbal said, adding that the people were condemning the Lahore Capital City Police Officer’s statement, but the prime minister had not even tweeted about it.

Ahsan Iqbal, talking about Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz — who has contracted coronavirus in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail — said that he had a fever for the past three days and he wasn’t treated.

“The government pressurises officers into making false cases (against the opposition),” he said, adding that the person who opposes the move is “transferred”.

“These incompetent leaders are destroying Pakistan. The world is acknowledging PTI’s failure in Punjab,” he said.

The PML-N stalwart said: “Even a school teacher isn’t changed in the frequency or manner that (the Punjab government) has transferred inspector generals.”

He said the PTI is consistently losing in Punjab and to “punish” the people of Punjab, Usman Buzdar has been appointed as the chief minister.

“Officers holding important administrative positions are being transferred like naib qasids,” he

said, adding that Buzdar was as incompetent as Imran Khan.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill, responding to Ahsan Iqbal’s statement on Kashmir said that the PML-N had always had “dealings with India at the expense of Kashmir”.

“(During PML-N’s tenure) India never expressed reservations over Kashmir,” he said in a tweet.

“Why would India need to work up a nerve to respond to those who did not even appoint a foreign minister to counter India’s lobbying?” he asked.