- Says govt would bring Pervez Musharraf back to Pakistan if court orders
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Saturday that it is justice should not only be delivered, it must also be seen to be done, but that did not appear to be happening with ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
In an interview with a private news channel, the prime minister said that he always said that justice was not being seen to be delivered in Nawaz Sharif’s case.
PM Abbasi said that he and everyone else was questioning whether the biggest criminal of the country was Nawaz Sharif, whether so many references were ever filed against anyone else and whether anyone was disqualified on such flimsy grounds. “The answers to these questions will become apparent tomorrow, if not today,” he said.
He went on to say that people ask if the former prime minister of a country cannot get justice from courts, then who will? He added that the government will implement court orders if Sharif was sent to prison.
When asked as to why the government had not placed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on the ECL, he said it was the government’s discretion and believed that being the leader of the biggest political party, Nawaz Sharif would never leave the country.
He said Nawaz Sharif was disqualified on weak grounds and his cases had been made time bound. His cases were being heard thrice a week, he added.
In response to a question, the premier said that he did not see any obstacle that could prevent general elections 2018 from taking place on time.
“When I came to the prime minister’s office on August 1 last year, they said that the government would not last three months. Then they said it would not go beyond December 31 and then they said the Senate elections will not take place,” PM Abbasi said
But all of the above happened, he said, adding that the government will complete its term and the elections will then take place within 60 days.
Abbasi said that he has commenced talks with Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah about the caretaker prime minister but a name has yet to be proposed by either side.
Talking about the upcoming election for the Senate chairman, the prime minister said his ruling PML-N desires that the leader of the upper house should be elected with consensus.
He said the Senate and national political parties of the country had suffered immense losses in this month’s Senate elections because of horsetrading, which he claimed was very apparent.
“If a political party does not have the required number of or any MPAs members of a provincial assembly, how can their senator be elected?” he asked, adding that there is a need to reform the process of Senate elections as the priorities of those who have been elected by paying money would be questionable.
PM Abbasi claimed that the PML-N and their elected senators can take on oath they did not use any money for the Senate elections and other parties should do the same.
Although he refused to take any names, the prime minister claimed that some parties even had to pay their own MPAs to get their votes and his party will expose such people.
Asked why he had approved the appointment of Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, son of prominent businessman Jahangir Siddiqui, as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, the prime minister said he had chosen a person who was suitable for the assignment.
The current situation in the US is unique and difficult to handle for traditional diplomacy, Abbasi said, adding that they had nominated Siddiqui after a two-month review because he is educated and possesses world and political experience.
“You will now see a new colour of political diplomacy in the US that will go in Pakistan’s favour,” he said.
Rubbishing allegations of nepotism, Abbasi said Siddiqui was a person who could serve well in the unique political scenario prevailing in the US.
He further said that the government would act upon if the court ordered to bring Pervez Musharraf back to Pakistan, adding that Musharraf was removed from the Exit Control List and allowed to travel abroad on court orders for medical treatment.
About the National Accountability Ordinance, he said it was promulgated by a dictator that should have been abolished long ago. Even the PML-N, PPP and PTI had once evolved consensus over a draft of the amended law but, later, both the opposition parties changed their minds.
To another question, the prime minister said that Nawaz Sharif had been appearing before the courts as a legal obligation.
Asked as to whether any conspiracy was being hatched against the former prime minister, he said any decision, which hurt the country, was considered a conspiracy.
PM Abbasi also said that Shehbaz Sharif was the candidate for the premiership, however, the party would take the final decision after it gets the majority in the next general election.
Regarding Pakistan’s possible placement on the FATF’s grey list in June, the prime minister said that a lobby had worked against the country, but despite not being a member of the body, it presented its viewpoint and steps very clearly. The country’s position had been clearly explained to the world, he added.
Regarding the registration of Milli Muslim League (MML) backed by Hafiz Saeed Ahmed, he said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would decide the matter and the government would review it if the court orders so.
To a question about the fate of Pakistan-Iran -gas pipeline, he said that no one was ready to fund the project as Iran was not allowed to export gas. Moreover, the financiers were reluctant to support as the funding was not protected under certain laws.
Prime Minister Abbasi also called for an end to Indian atrocities in the occupied Kashmir and said that Pakistan had been urging the world to pressure India to resolve the dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council’s resolutions. He added that Pakistan wanted peace in Afghanistan as any lawlessness in that country directly impacted it.
The Afghans must sit together to resolve their issues themselves, he added.
Responding to a query, the prime minister said that the improvement of Pakistan’s economy was being acknowledged worldwide as many of the challenges had been handled and the rest were being addressed.
About PIA’s privatisation and restructuring, he said that the entity had incurred Rs45 billion loss last year, which could not go for long. He openly offered the opposition parties criticising the process to take over the PIA even without any money, but they should prove by reviving it.
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I am amazed at the tolerance level of Hon’ble Chief Justice Supreme Court. Now criminals involved in helping another criminal escape by illegally providing a Government Aircraft dare utter such nonsense! He should be taught a lesson to refrain from such indescretions.
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