ISLAMABAD - Federal Information Minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid yesterday said that Pakistan-Tehrik-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s call for nationwide protest is aimed at freezing the process of economic growth in the country. Addressing a news conference along with minister of State for Privatisation Muhammad Zubair and PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz, he said the PTI’s previous protest caused a delay of six months in the launching of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said that Imran Khan announced the second episode of container protest which will also flop like his first show.

He pointed out the privatisation of PIA and other national institutions were the main point of PTI’s manifesto and now Imran Khan was speaking against it loudly without any moral basis. He said that PTI was actually supporting the PIA strike and protest and its workers were also among protesters.

The minister expressed sorrow and grief over killing of two employees of National flag carrier Airline in Karachi and extended condolences to the bereaved families. He pointed out that it is not yet known who fired the shot. He said neither police nor Rangers resorted to firing and it is understood someone from within the gathering fired the bullet. The minister said that Oil and Gas Regularity Authority (OGRA) moved summary thrice with recommendations to increase the petroleum prices in country in last few months but the prime minister rejected the summary and reduced the petroleum prices even if compared with other South Asian countries. He said that Imran Khan was misguiding the nation over petroleum prices and other national issues using wrong facts and figures. He asked the PTI senior leader Asad Umar to give his expert suggestions to PTI chairman instead to PM Nawaz Sharif.

He said the Punjab government has launched the Orange line and metro bus projects in different cities of the province for providing best facilities to the citizens and as well as it is spending more budget then other provinces on education.  He said PTI earlier criticised and staged protest against metro bus project which was rejected by the people and now it has planned to arrange anti Orange line protest. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Privatisation Muhammad Zubair said out of 185 countries, Pakistan is at 34 in terms of pricing of petrol.

To a question, he said the government deferred the plan to seek strategic partnership of PIA for six months with a view to satisfying the employees. He said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has repeatedly said that the government would minutely review the investment plan of the strategic partner before taking any decision. PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz said Pakistan has moved significantly ahead in terms of progress and development during tenure of the present government. He said that the local government system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa flopped badly due to the ignorance of provincial government.