FM felicitates newly elected body of NPC

PM’s upcoming visit to China will reinforce strategic ties: FM


MULTAN: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Sunday congratulated the newly elected office bearers of National Press Club (NPC).

The foreign minister felicitated newly elected NPC president Anwar Raza, secretary Khalil Raja, finance secretary Nayyar Ali and other office bearers, expressing his best wishes.

In a message, the foreign minister said that journalism/media was a significant pillar of the state.

He expressed the hope that the newly elected body would utilize all its potential for the welfare of journalists and media people.

Likewise, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China will further give impetus to bilateral strategic relations in diverse sectors.

Addressing a ceremony in Multan on Sunday, he said the Prime Minister will hold important meetings with the Chinese leadership on various issues of mutual interest, including bilateral trade and regional security situations.

About the Afghanistan situation, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Afghan leadership had assured that Afghan land will not be used against Pakistan or any other neighboring country.

On the demotic front, the foreign minister said that a two-thirds majority is needed in the Parliament to pass the amendments regarding the creation of Southern Punjab province.

To a question about the call of a long march by the opposition, Shah Mahmood Qureshi urged the opposition to avoid the path of violence and join hands with the government in its efforts to put the country on road to progress and development. Adding to this, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi said on Sunday that the supreme court should take notice of the irresponsible statement by Rana Sanaullah to seige court in case of any verdict given against Shahbaz Sharif. Talking to the media here, the foreign minister termed the irresponsible statement by Rana Sanaullah as an attack on the independence of the judiciary.

It is meant to exert pressure on courts, opined Qureshi. The apex court should take suo moto in this regard, Qureshi said and added that PML-N wanted to seek verdicts after its own choice by putting pressure on courts.

In past, PML N had also attacked the supreme court, recalled Qureshi. Responding to another question about the absence of opposition leader in Senate Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani from the house on the occasion of the passage of SBP (Amendment) Bill-2022, Qureshi stated that the government was thankful to Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Qureshi added that Gilani could have reached Senate Session in five hours only. “We are confidential about the manner in which Gilani was elected as senator,” he maintained. About South Punjab province, Qureshi, once again, invited the leadership of PML-N and PPP to make important amendments for South Punjab province in order to benefit 35 million people of the region. Qureshi stated that the PTI government was also ready to share the credit of South Punjab province with both parties.

There was no obstacle on part of PTI for creating South Punjab Province, said Qureshi. The creation of South Punjab province was part of PTI’s manifesto during elections 2018. Qureshi maintained that people gave a mandate to PTI from across the region. However, he said, PTI lacked a two-thirds majority which was needed for the purpose.

To a question about State Bank, the foreign minister stated that legislation was meant to provide autonomy to State Bank so that it should work independently, without the influence of government’s policies. He, however, clarified that State Bank would be accountable to the Parliament. Similarly, the prime minister will appoint its Board of Governor.

Qureshi recalled that PPP and PML N had also introduced some reforms in State Bank during their respective regimes. To another question, Qureshi stated the parties in the Opposition lacked confidence in one another. PML N is leveling allegations on PPP. Similarly, JUI-F chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman has also questioned the absence of senators of other parties of Opposition in the recent session of the Senate.

About recent incidents of terrorism, the foreign minister said the Afghan government clearly stated that its soil would not be used for terrorism. He, however, observed that some spoilers wanted to create instability in the region.

Commenting on the Sindh government’s local bodies legislation, Qureshi stated that all the political parties including PDM and Opposition were not satisfied with the amendments made by PPP’s Sindh government.

About visa restrictions to Pakistani pilgrims by India, the foreign minister observed that the Pakistani government introduced many steps including the Kartarpur corridor. However, the Indian government was not issuing visas to pilgrims for Ajmer Sharif.

Even, the Indian government also denied the issuance of visas to Hindus Council members. Pakistan invited foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) on March 23, said the foreign minister adding that the foreign ministers of OIC would also witness the parade, professional capabilities of the Pakistan army and different cultural activities on this occasion. About rising inflation, Qureshi termed it an international phenomenon triggered due to the coronavirus pandemic. He, however, stated that masses were very much sensible and they understood who was responsible for inflation.

Responding to a question about fertilizer shortage, Qureshi informed that the government was providing an uninterrupted gas supply to fertilizer factories. Some dealers were involved in hoarding and black-marketing. The government was striving hard to discourage black-marketing. About Bilawal’s long march call, Qureshi observed that PTI under the leadership of its Sindh President Ali Zaidi would also hold a long march from Ghotki to Karachi.

Hopefully, things with Bilawal would settle in wake of long marches. Later on, the foreign minister addressed a gathering of PTI women wings hailing from 11 districts of South Punjab. He lauded the efforts of women for the cause of the party.

He informed that the government took some important steps to guard the right of inheritance to women. Similarly, amendments were being made in the criminal procedure code and it would surely facilitate masses.

Hopefully, the amendments in the criminal procedure code would have far-reaching impacts. Changes have also been made in law pertaining to evidence recording, said Qureshi. He urged women wings to shun differences and work for the cause of the party.


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