Right to life supersedes right to protest: Firdous Ashiq Awan

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that the people’s right to life supersedes the opposition’s right to protest and the government will take action against the participants of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) march if the rights of people are jeopardised.
“The government will not let any group take people hostage,” said Awan while addressing a press briefing in Sialkot on Sunday.
JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman has said the ‘Azadi March’ caravan would enter Islamabad on October 31 and that it is the right of people to protest against a government that has failed to deliver.
Awan, in today’s conference, termed the JUI-F march an attempt to supplement Indian efforts to push the country into the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist.
She said the prime minister’s economic policies are bearing fruits as the imports of the country have decreased, while exports have increased.
Awan said that at a time when the international monetary institutions are appreciating the government’s economic policies and the country’s positive economic indicators, some “political orphans want to jam these indicators”.
She said that their aim was to “sabotage the prime minister’s efforts to turn around the prevailing economic situation”.
“The prime minister is busy is portraying a conducive environment for investment in Pakistan,” she said, adding that Chinese investors have pledged to invest $5 billion in the country’s economic zones during the next four years.
Awan vowed that all the tactics employed by the opposition will fail.
“On the one hand, India is attacking our unarmed citizens at the border and exploiting Kashmiri people while holding them hostage [in the occupied territory], and on the other our foolish political leaders are unable to realise the situation being faced by Pakistan,” she regretted.
The government spokesperson said that the positive indicators of the economy have to be maintained over the next three months and a soft image of Pakistan has to be promoted. She expressed dismay over the fact that this was not being understood by some.
“On the one hand the British royal couple visited Pakistan and is projecting the real, enlightened, moderate and progressive image of Pakistan before the world, while on the other hand, a group, consisting of a handful of people, while using the religious card, wants to push the people into unrest and discord.”
She said that the aforementioned group was drawing the attention of the media to a militia which itself is a negation to the Constitution of Pakistan and its Article 256.
Awan, while defining a militia, said it is an organised, uniformed and equipped outfit and has an objective. She went on to say that Rehman has planned to charge on Islamabad with the help of a militia and the act is tantamount to challenging the writ of the state.
She said it should serve as an eye opener for the people that at a time when India is trying to hatch conspiracies to isolate Pakistan in the FATF, at the same time in Pakistan, a militia which is uniformed, trained and equipped was projected favourably in the media.
“The nation wants to know whose narrative this is. This is a blow to the soft image of Pakistan and is tantamount to supplement the Indian efforts to push the country into the FATF’s blacklist,” said Awan.
“The nation wants to know why the off spring of those fathers who had resisted the establishment of Pakistan want to create obstacles in the process of Pakistan’s stability,” she continued.
“History is preserving the (true) character of each and everyone.”
She further said that some “VIP prisoners” are moving the strings of Rehman.