Wednesday June 19, 2024

Asim Bajwa’s resignation accepted: ‘No bar on opposition’s public rallies’

Imran Khan said it was the right of the opposition to hold peaceful protests and rallies but it would not be allowed to spread chaos under the guise of protests

By Our Correspondent
October 13, 2020

Asim Bajwa’s resignation accepted: ‘No bar on opposition’s public rallies’

ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday, instead of disrupting the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) meetings, decided to allow the opposition parties to hold public meetings

A meeting of government leaders, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan here, decided that the PDM meetings would not be disrupted and all opposition leaders, including the PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif, would be allowed to attend the meetings by following the coronavirus SOPs, reports Geo News. The meeting believed that the opposition would expose itself by holding rallies, as it would not be able to bring people out on the roads.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said it was the right of the opposition to hold peaceful protests and rallies but it would not be allowed to spread chaos under the guise of protests.

Imran said the opposition movement was not a movement of the people, but a movement to protect the interests of the political elite, while the people had no interest in the anti-corruption movement of politicians.

Meanwhile, a delegation of prominent religious figures from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa called on the prime minister. The delegation included Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, Pir Shamsul Amin, Pir Habibullah Shah, Pir Anwar Junaid Shah and Pirzada Junaid Amin.

The prime minister expressed the hope that thereligious scholars would continue to play their role in highlighting the Islamic values, tackling contemporary challenges and preventing sectarianism.

Imran said in order to meet the current challenges, it was necessary to highlight social, cultural and religious values of the society and religious scholars had a key role to play in this regard.

He said religious scholars always guided governments and the nation in difficult times and expressed the hope that in the fight against coronavirus, scholars and religious figures would continue to support the government and guide people about how to avoid the disease.

Separately, a delegation, led by Chairman National Minorities Commission Chila Ram Kelani, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, Maulana Syed Muhammad Abdul Khabir Azad, Mufti Gulzar Ahmad Naeemi, Jaipal Chhabria, Vishnu Raja Qawi, Dr Sarah Safdar, Archbishop Substance Francis Shaw, Albert David, Dr Pampal Singh, Saroop Singh, Roshan Khurshid Bharucha, Dawood Shah, Chairman Islamic Ideological Council Dr Qibla Ayaz, Parliamentary Secretary Shanila Rath and others were members of the delegation.

Discussions were held on further strengthening the role of the National Minorities Commission. Talking to the delegation, the PM said promotion of religious tolerance and inter-religious harmony was need of the hour. He hoped that the National Commission for Minorities would continue playing its constructive role in this regard.

Imran said the government was committed to protecting the constitutional and legal rights of citizens belonging to the minority communities and all steps would be taken in this regard. Meanwhile, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan on prevention of smuggling of food items.

It was attended by Federal Ministers Khusro Bakhtiar, Hammad Azhar, Advisors Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant Dr Waqar Masood and senior officers.

Provincial chief secretaries attended the forum through video link.

Meanwhile, in another development, Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday accepted the resignation of Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Lt. Gen. (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa, which he had submitted several months back.

“I requested the honourable Prime Minister to relinquish me from the additional portfolio of SAPM on Info & broadcasting. He very kindly approved my request,” Bajwa said in a tweet. However, he will continue to serve as chairman of the CPEC Authority.

It may be recalled that Asim Saleem Bajwa had submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan after a story appeared on a website recently about his family members’ assets which he outright denied. Afterwards, he submitted his resignation to the prime minister.

The prime minister declined to accept at that time, saying he was satisfied with the reply given to him by his special assistant in relation to the off-shore assets.

However, the opposition not only sought his resignation until he cleared his position, but also called for his explanation before the nation. The Pakistan Democratic Movement had also passed a resolution demanding that the claims made in the story about Bajwa’s family assets should be probed and that he should separate himself from the CPEC Authority until the outcome of the probe.

Meanwhile, the prime minister chaired a meeting on the coronavirus situation, tests, rate of spread of the epidemic in different parts of the country and the growing situation of cases globally.

The meeting was informed that the second wave of corona internationally had seen an increase in the number of infected patients. The prime minister said the purpose of the meeting was to take timely decisions to save the nation from the second wave of coronavirus and further losses.

He emphasized that keeping in view the statistics of different countries, it had come to light that there was increased risk of spread of epidemic in cold weather, as the ailment was on the rise.

“With this in mind, the federal and provincial governments need to take action and strategies now,” he remarked. Imran stressed the need for ensuring safety measures and use of facemasks in all cases. In view of the recent statistics and in order to protect the population from the second wave of the corona, it was suggested to the meeting to limit all non-essential activities not related to basic needs like economy and education etc. The participants also proposed a ban on public gatherings. The meeting was informed that smart lockdowns were being carried out in Karachi, Islamabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.