Minister of Information Fawad Chaudhry. Photo file
  • Chaudhry said Prime Minister Imran decided not to attend to allow opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif to attend the briefing.
  • Shahbaz Sharif had threatened not to attend if the prime minister showed up, says Fawad.
  • Pakistan is committed to peacefully handing over power to Afghanistan, reiterates Fawad.

ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday commented on the Prime Minister’s absence at the briefing of military and intelligence leaders on national security, Afghanistan and Kashmir to parliamentary leaders, saying the Prime Minister had not attended the briefing to welcome the leader of the opposition.

“The prime minister was supposed to attend the national security meeting, but the leader of the opposition [Shahbaz Sharif] had indicated to the speaker that if [Prime Minister Imran Khan] came to the briefing, he would not attend, “Fawad said during an appearance on Geo News morning show Geo Pakistan.

Echoing the talking points from the day before, Fawad said the government hopes and prays for a peaceful transfer of power in Afghanistan.

“We are pushing for negotiations in Afghanistan,” he said.

“There are three million Afghan nationals in Pakistan – if another three million are pushed inward, it will put a lot of pressure on our economy,” he said.

“It won’t be that easy for the Taliban to take power,” Chaudhry said of the prospects for peace in the war-torn neighbor. “We want the Afghan Taliban and the Ghani government to negotiate [a way out]. ”

“We are only worried when India uses Afghan territories against us,” he added. “[PendingwewillcontinuetotryandmediatebetweentheAfghanTalibanandtheGhanigovernment”[Enattendantnouscontinueronsd’essayerdeservirdemédiateurentrelestalibansafghansetlegouvernementdeGhani[MeanwhilewewillcontinuetotryandmediatebetweentheAfghanTalibanandtheGhanigovernment”

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