LAHORE - Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira on Friday was all praise for PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif for what he called his moderate style of politicking, but subjected to criticism his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif for toeing a different line. 

“Mian Nawaz Sharif’s policies can bring about a positive change in politics and have a stabilising effect on the country unlike that of Shahbaz Sharif who is following the policy of Ch Nisar Ali Khan that can only destabilise the institutions,” he remarked while speaking in Meet the Press programme of Lahore Press Club.

The information minister expressed his disapproval of Shahbaz Sharif’s style of politics as he saw a visible difference in political approach of the two brothers.  Criticising Punjab chief minister for spending huge funds on projects like Sasti Roti (cheap bread) Metro Bus Service and Sasta Aata (cheap flour) Scheme, he said he would have to account for it.

Talking about the Metro Bus Service, Kaira said it had been executed in violation of PAPRA rules and the actual funds spent on the project were much higher than the declared amount.

“He (Shahbaz) will be held accountable for all the money spent on the project in violation of rules,” Kaira said.

The minister alleged corruption was rampant in Punjab and said those trying to deceive public would face public wrath in the next general elections.

He said the PPP government did not spend all government funds in only one city like the Punjab government and provided equal funds to the provinces.”

Commenting on decision of the Supreme Court in Tehrik-e- Minhajul Quran chief’s petition, he said it disappointed overseas Pakistanis, adding several had telephoned him about the verdict.

Responding to a question, he said the PPP did not believe in surveys gauging popularity of political parties, as people cast their votes on the basis of performance. The minister insisted that the PPP-led government tried its best to deliver during the past five years.

Recounting achievements of his government, Kaira said thousands of employees working on contract bases were regularised, civil servants’ salaries were doubled, besides devolving powers to provinces and restoring 1973 Constitution to its original democratic form. On caretaker setup, the minister said it would be put in place according to the procedure as laid down in the Constitution, and not as per the desires of Mian Nawaz Sharif.

To a question about president’s dual office, Kaira said it was an insult to democracy to say that the office of president was non-political. “How a president could be non-political when he is elected through a political process,” he questioned.  He, however, admitted that president should act in an impartial manner while insisting that President Zardari was also an impartial president.

He told the media that a notification regarding constitution of a commission for wage award for journalists would be issued on Monday. Asked to comment on the recent Taliban offer for talks, the minister said the government also supported the dialogue with the Taliban as the PPP believed in talks. To another question, he said life of every Pakistani soldier was precious and Pakistan would lodge protest at the proper forum on the martyrdom of its soldier by Indian forces.