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No need to set up commission on ‘lettergate’

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb Saturday said there was no need to establish any commission on the “so-called foreign conspiracy” claim as the country’s intelligence agencies had ruled out any such plot against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

“What is left to be investigated after the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting’s press release, which clearly pointed out that there was no conspiracy? The premier intelligence agencies have also categorically stated [in the meeting] that they found no such thing [during investigation], which even gives an impression of conspiracy,” she said while addressing a news conference.

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Marriyum said Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed, who had written and sent the cipher to the now ousted PTI government, also informed the NSC that there was no iota of any conspiracy in it.

“Imran would not abandon his politics of lies and chaos even if the commission is set up on his request,” she said.

Marriyum said Imran’s narrative of foreign conspiracy had been buried and he would soon face consequences for “harming the national interest”. She alleged that Imran had orchestrated the “foreign conspiracy drama to cover up his government’s failures”.

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She added that the foreign conspiracy narrative propped up only after the PTI’s coalition partners announced quitting the ruling alliance due to corruption, deceit and incompetency.

“Why he (Imran) did not disclose the conspiracy soon after his government received the telegram from the Pakistani envoy in the US on March 8?

“The envoy had asked the government to issue a demarche to the country in question, but Imran’s government did nothing until March 27.”

She recalled that the then foreign minister, on March 2, invited the US Under Secretary, who was purportedly conspiring against his government, to Pakistan and held a meeting with her on the sidelines of the OIC summit held in Islamabad.

Referring to Imran’s demand for the chief election commissioner’s resignation, she said the PTI chairman wanted him to resign as he was expecting a decision against his party in the foreign funding case in the next 30 days.

She accused Imran Khan of laundering money through bank accounts of his servants at Bani Gala residence.

She went on to say that Imran had rendered over 200,000 people jobless and pushed six million people below the poverty line during his tenure.

The minister said elections will be held only after electoral reforms and that Imran would have to acknowledge constitutional requirements.

Separately, the minister the media’s Joint Action Committee (JAC) on Saturday decided to enact legislation to curb fake news.

The meeting between the newly appointed information minister and the JAC agreed to add a provision to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) law to tackle fake news, which they said had not only harmed the national interest but also had an adverse impact on national cohesion and unity.

Marriyum told the JAC members that the incumbent government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, would not compromise in any way on the right
to freedom of expression.



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