Imran’s Sindh itinerary to flare political tensions

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KARACHI / LAHORE: The political temperature in Sindh is likely to shoot up again as Prime Minister Imran Khan and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry are expected to visit the province to meet key opposition leaders amid the ongoing corruption probe against the top PPP leadership.

Prime Minister Imran will embark on a day-long trip to the province on January 25 after his information minister’s likely visit on January 15 and 16, Express News reported.

The premier will review matters pertaining to his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party besides meeting like-minded political leaders in Sindh. He is all set to pay a visit to the province’s Ghotki district on the invitation of Ali Gohar Khan Mahar of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA).

A week before the prime minister’s visit, Fawad will hold meetings with key political figures of the province.

Last month, the information minister had postponed his planned visit to Sindh after a Supreme Court hearing went against the PTI government’s stance on ongoing investigations into the fake bank accounts case.

The apex court had directed the federal cabinet to reconsider the list of 172 individuals – named in the JIT report – who were placed on the ECL. Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had expressed displeasure over the government’s initiative.

Fawad was expected to meet opposition leaders Pir Pagara, Liaquat Jatoi, Zulfiqar Mirza, Fehmida Mirza and Ayaz Palejo among others during his scheduled visit to Karachi, Badin, Sukkur and Larkana during his postponed visit last month.

The ruling parties in Sindh and at the Centre are at loggerheads ever since the federal cabinet placed the JIT-accused persons in the fake accounts case on the Exit Control List last month.

The joint investigation team was formed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) over the multibillion rupees fake bank accounts case involving among others the top leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party, including Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Meanwhile, Sindh CM Murad has warned that those planning to disrupt smooth running of democratic affairs in the province would be dealt with an iron fist.

Speaking to the media in Sukkur on Sunday, Murad said no one would be allowed to steal the mandate of the elected government in Sindh, Express News reported.

On the ECL issue, he said he was not planning any foreign trip anytime soon. However, if he had to depart for Hajj or on a pilgrimage to Karbala in Iraq then no one would be able to stop him.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and ex-president Asif Ali Zardari have “dug their own political graves”.

“Their political career is over,” said the information minister while addressing the third edition of ThinkFest here at the Alhamrah Arts Council on Sunday.

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