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Govt ready for meaningful dialogue with opposition: Chaudhry Sarwar

01 April, 2019

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LAHORE: Ruling PTI leader and Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar has said that the government is ready for a rational and meaningful dialogue with the opposition in parliament if it believes that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is overstepping its jurisdiction.

“If the opposition thinks that the accountability institutions are overstepping their jurisdiction, it can spearhead a discussion in parliament in the best interest of the country and people,” he said.

The shortcomings in the state institutions could be removed, the governor said while talking to the media after inaugurating the Lahore-Abdul Hakeem section of the motorway at Jaranwala interchange on Sunday.

He said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government did not want politics of confrontation with opposition, but it could not compromise on the basic principle of the party that demanded elimination of corruption.

“We are determined to hold every corrupt [person] accountable,” Mr Sarwar said, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan would not come under pressure due to any protest or train march.

The governor said the opposition leaders had started reproaching NAB, the Federal Board of Revenue and the courts as soon as the state institutions took decisions against them. “These institutions had also taken decisions against us (PTI leaders) when we were in opposition, but we never criticised them,” he added.

He said those reproaching NAB and other accountability institutions would not be able to escape accountability. “The government... will not backtrack from its stance on accountability.”

Mr Chaudhry said the PTI’s “crusade for over two decades”, led by Mr Khan, was based on the party’s basic principle of no tolerance for corruption. “Even our ministers have presented themselves for accountability to ensure that the country is cleansed of graft.”

He said loot and plunder of the country’s wealth had caused joblessness, hunger and shortage of medicines and beds in hospitals. “Corruption is the root cause of all ills prevailing in Pakistan,” he said.

The governor said the Punjab Aab-i-Pak Authority had been established to ensure provision of clean drinking water.

The country was facing many challenges, but the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan would emerge successful in resolving these issues, he said. Imran Khan was translating the slogan of “Do Nahin – Aik Pakistan” into reality, he added.

“Unfortunately, [in the past] people who claimed that they will solve problems did nothing but loot and plunder the country’s resources,” he said. The governor said the PTI government believed in meritocracy, depoliticisation and autonomy of institutions.

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