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ISLAMABAD:
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday said that the opposition is raising a hue and cry over rigging in the forthcoming polls as they know Prime Minister Imran Khan will win another term in power.

"We want to bring electronic voting machines into the system to resolve the electoral issues," Fawad said while addressing the National Assembly session on Tuesday.

"There's no leadership in the opposition; it is a disintegrated group," he remarked.

"From 1947 to 2008, Pakistan took loans worth Rs6,000 billion from foreign sources," said the minister and added that the country utilised the money for creating the fifth-largest army in the world, establishing Islamabad, motorways, naval bases and Gwadar port. 

"But between the years 2008 and 2018, the number of loans taken went up to Rs26,000 billion." Now, said Fawad, at least Rs2,000 billion is used to repay the loans taken during the tenure of the previous governments. 

"They [previous governments] borrowed money to set up power plants, including a coal plant in Sahiwal, when coal is not mined in the area."

"Because of them, we have to payoff the IPPs and give them Rs900 billion annually."

The information minister further said that in 2023, the government will have to pay Rs1,500 billion to the IPPs and elaborated that as of now, the country has the capacity to produce 30,000 megawatts but can only distribute around 24,000 megawatts.

Turning his guns towards the provincial government of Sindh, the minister said , "Sindh was provided Rs1,600 to Rs1,700 billion in a span of two years under the NFC."

"[They were] given money separately under grants, but what did Sindh government do," he asked and claimed that the funds "went to London, Canada, the US, Paris and Dubai".

Continuing his criticism of the PML-N and the PPP, Fawad said there are two families, "one sends money out of the country from Islamabad and the other from Sindh".

Last week, Fawad lashed out at former premier Nawaz Sharif, saying the PML-N president was free to go anywhere provided he returned the “looted wealth”.

The information minister had maintained that the government wanted to bring the accountability process to a logical conclusion.

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