Opposition warned: All beds in Islamabad hospitals taken, says Shibli

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Farogh Naseem Tuesday warned the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) to stop holding public meetings and rallies, as hospitals in the federal capital were full to their capacity with the COVID-19 patients.

Addressing a post-cabinet press briefing here, he said the PDM leaders should heed the government’s warning, as the second wave of the coronavirus was coursing through the length and breadth of the country.

He said the government had been from the very beginning urging for adoption of extreme care against the second wave of the pandemic, which would be severer than the first one, but this was misconstrued as its political strategy to bar opposition from holding political activities.

“There is a need to be more serious about the virus, while the government has its preparations in place,” he said, adding that he had emphasized that there was a limit to everything.

To a question about the Gilgit-Baltistan elections, Shibli deeply appreciated the people of Gilgit-Baltistan for giving mandate to the PTI and assured them that the government would prove that their choice was absolutely correct.

He criticised the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for inciting violence in the recent GB elections by provoking his workers.

The minister said it was the party leaders’ responsibility to keep their workers under control, adding that if the party leader would provoke workers for agitation, then such steps would neither serve democracy, nor the GB people.

The government, he made it clear, had taken note of the rowdy behavior of PPP workers and the violence they unleashed by damaging government properties in their demonstrations against the election results.

He said cases had been registered against those involved in violence.

Shibli remarked, “It is the habit of Pakistan Democratic Movement leaders to accept wins and decline to concede their defeat in the elections. They should approach legal forums if they have any doubts about the GB election”.

About an agreement with an Indian broadcast firm and payment to any Indian sports channel, he explained that $6,47000 payment had to be made to the Indian sports channel in connection with the coverage of the Premier League in September last year, as the sports channel’s ownership was in India. He denied that the PTV had signed any agreement, putting aside media reports.

He conceded that how difficult was the situation when the ownership of the channel firm was in India and the amount had been outstanding since last year.

The minister said India was emerging as a fascist and intolerant country and the lid on its claims of being a secular state and democracy was also removed by the Modi regime, setting new record of human right abuses and barbarism in Occupied Kashmir and laws were also designed to specially target the Indian Muslims.

The minister emphasized that India was such an enemy, which had no regards even for the international laws and values.

When his attention was drawn towards some reports that Pakistan was facing pressure vis-à-vis Israel, the minister made it clear that there was no change in the stated position adopted by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding Palestinian issue and that Kashmir problem be resolved in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

Replying to a question about appointment of Naeem Bokhari as the PTV board member and its chairman, the minister said that unfortunately, in the past, the state entities were stuffed with political appointees and no attention was paid to lifting their standard, which had destroyed them.

He said after getting a comprehensive report on PTV, he would hold a news conference thereon, as to how PTV was brought to the present state of affairs like Radio Pakistan.

“You can’t run these institutions by printing new notes or obtaining loans. Things will have to be rectified,” the minister argued.

This article originally appeared on The News International