MULTAN - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday rejected criticism by the opposition parties of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) proposed package, saying the deal was being struck due to wrong policies of the previous governments.

Talking to the media at Chah Jammu Wala, Qureshi said that those who were criticising the government over the IMF understanding had themselves availed the IMF packages in the past. He said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had contacted the IMF after they came to power in 2013. Similarly, the PPP government had also availed the facility during its tenure in 2008. Then why they are criticising the incumbent government, he asked.

The minister said that the incumbent government was availing the IMF package due to 10 years long wrong policies of the previous governments. He dispelled the impression that the IMF was behind replacement of ministers. He said a technical committee of the IMF was on a 15-day visit to Pakistan and talks were under way with the government.

He said the government had no differences with its allied parties over the Local Governments Act-2019 as Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) senior leader and Speaker of Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had already rejected these rumours.

FM says no one being given NRO | Govt taking steps to control prices

Addressing participants in a welcome party in NA-156 earlier in the day, Qureshi pointed out that the Supreme Court had declared some people ineligible for political offices but still Maryam Nawaz was made vice president of PML-N. He said that the decision was negation of Supreme Court’s decision and the PML-N should review its decision. He said that on one hand PML-N said that Shehbaz Sharif’s health did not permit him to perform party duties but at the same time did his health permit him to remain Opposition leader. He declared that the PTI would raise this issue in the assembly.

Answering a question about Shehbaz Sharif’s return, he said that PML-N could answer this question. To a query about increase in petroleum prices, he said the rates increased across the world but there was less increase in Pakistan compared to other regional countries. He said the financial deficit would have gone further up if the petroleum prices had not been increased.

Answering a question, he said it was responsibility of the Punjab government to control prices. He added that the government would make efforts to keep prices under control during the month of Ramazan and prevent anyone from indulging in hoarding.

About grouping in the PTI, he said that he had no group and PTI was his only group. He added that Asad Omar was in their party yesterday and he would remain tomorrow.

To a query about Nawaz Sharif’s bail, he said the Supreme Court gave bail to Nawaz Sharif due to some reason. “May Allah Almighty grant him good health,” he prayed.

He said that every party had the right to change its office-bearers but even PPP was not ready to make Rana Tanveer chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). He declared that talks would be held with the speaker on the issue of the PAC.

Addressing a public meeting in Jahanian, Qureshi said the PTI government would bring the poor out of poverty through its public-friendly policies.

He added that the PTI government was introducing Ehsas programme to address problems of the poor and different departments were being assembled in the programme to facilitate the poor. Qureshi said they had meetings with Chinese leadership regarding poverty alleviation programme as China brought 700 million people out of poverty in 30 years.

Qureshi said the PTI government had also introduced Sehat Insaf card to facilitate the poor and medical assistance of Rs 720,000 would be given to them.

He said the PTI’s local government system would bring about a revolution and empower people at grassroot level besides providing them maximum relief. He added that 30 percent budget of the province would be shifted to local bodies and issues of the masses would be resolved locally.

The PTI was introducing village council in rural areas and neighbourhood council in urban areas. Powers would be delegated to elected representatives at grassroot level.

The PTI government would strengthen representatives of local bodies, Qureshi said.

Qureshi added that Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar would visit Islamabad on May 6 and he would discuss main features of the local bodies system with PTI MNAs.

The foreign minister urged the party workers to start preparations for local bodies elections and stressed them to spread the message and vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan at union council level. He said PTI would establish south Punjab province. He criticised the PML-N government and said it installed coal plants which were generating costly electricity.

Qureshi added that the PTI government had performed ground breaking of Mohmand dam which would provide not only water for the agriculture sector but also generate cheap electricity.

Qureshi claimed that PTI would make its government in Sindh in the next elections as the PPP disappointed the masses.

Qureshi said people of KP did not provide second chance to any government but they voted the PTI once again due to pro-people policies of the PTI.

On this occasion, Provincial Minister Dr Akhtar Malik, Hussain Jahanian and thousands of PTI workers were also present.