MULTAN   -   Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Shehbaz Sharif should return to the country and join the process of accountability.

Talking to the media, he said that Shehbaz Sharif should face cases. “He should join the accountability. The decisions will be made by the courts,” he added while talking to the media here.

He said that opposition’s viewpoint was that they raised voice against price hike but the actual question is that who is responsible for this price hike. “Is it because of just eight months or outcome of last 10 years?” he posed a question. He said that who rendered sacrifices in Waziristan, who crushed terrorists and restored life there. “Keeping in view prevailing situation, will the steps being taken by the opposition improve the situation or lift economy,” he raised more questions while commenting on opposition’s intentions to launch a protest drive. He asked the opposition to adopt and make pro-country decision. He said that if there is protest in the country how investments would come. He said that the protest would cause chaos and it would weaken democracy in the country. “If price hike comes down with opposition’s protest let them experience it,” he maintained. He said that the masses should identify that who wants to create chaos in the country on instigation of foreign powers.

He said that the government is promoting tourism in the country. The foreign minister said that the opposition should learn from past experiences and should not take any steps which go against their or country’s interests. He asked the expatriate Pakistanis to return to the country so that the wheel of economy may start moving. He said that the country is faced with a tough situation and if Shehbaz Sharif is returning he should do so. The FM dispelled the impression that the defence budget was cut down on IMF’s pressure. “This information is wrong. Pakistan Army has voluntarily slashed the budget,” he added. He said that defence budget is the need of nation as we have seen Indian aggression in the month of February. He made it clear that he is not a candidate for prime minister office, saying Imran Khan is the Prime Minister. He said that on one hand the government wants to bring foreign investment into the country while on the other hand opposition wants to create chaos. He said that the opposition’s act would deliver nothing but losses to the country.

The foreign minister said that the present government would introduce “Ehsas Programme” in the upcoming budget to facilitate unemployed youth, poor women and other deserving people. “Ehsas Programme offers 215 different policies which will surely help address economic problems of the poor,” he pointed out while speaking at a ceremony held at the residence of Mushtaq Thaheem at Surij Kund Road.

Qureshi said the government is also committed to introduce an excellent local government system and representatives would be empowered completely who would have funds to spend them at gross-root level for welfare of the masses.

The minister said that the past rulers had ignored South Punjab and did nothing for its development, adding that the construction of Nishtar Hospital II would also help address the health issue of the masses.

He said the both PML-N and the PPP plundered public money and taken record loans during last 10 years of their government which had hampered progress of the country.

Qureshi said the masses would re-elect the PTI in the next elections on basis of its performance. The PTI government’s tenure would be entirely different from the past ones as there would be no commission in any scheme, he added.

Earlier, the foreign minister also inaugurated a filtration plant. Punjab Energy Minister Dr Akhtar Malik, Mushtaq Thaheem, Rana Abdul Jabbar, Mian Jameel, Farooq Khan Babir and others were also present at the ceremony.