LONDON/ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that the issue of Dr Shakil Afridi, who ran a fake polio campaign in Abbottabad for the CIA to verify Osama bin Laden’s identity, was sub-judice and the court would give its ruling.
Talking to mediamen after his arrival in London, for attending the 9th meeting of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), Nawaz said his government would not take any extra-judicial step in Afridi’s matter. Pakistan, he said, has the prerogative to take its own decisions and it should exercise its right.
The prime minister said that drone attacks were against sovereignty of Pakistan and during his meeting with US President Barack Obama, he had very candidly and openly discussed the issue. He said peace was fast returning to the port city of Karachi, and hopefully it would be restored fully.
Premiere Nawaz, who would also hold a trilateral meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and British Prime Minister David Cameron during his three-day visit, said it was policy of Pakistan to support a peaceful Afghanistan. The PM, who will address the opening session of the Economic Forum on October 29, said he would present the steps being taken for improvement of country’s economy.
The prime minister would avail the opportunity to meet senior Muslim leaders attending the conference and discuss with them matters relating to fostering greater economic cooperation and collaboration amongst Muslim countries and with the rest of the world.
Senior members of the British cabinet, including Foreign Secretary William Hague, Home Secretary Theresa May and International Development Secretary Justine Greening, will also call on the prime minister. Matters relating to Pakistan-UK bilateral relations and issues specific to the portfolios of the UK dignitaries will be discussed.
Before his departure, PM Nawaz met with JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman and exchanged views on issues of national importance, including the talks with the Taliban, security situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and his party’s inclusion in the federal government.
In the meeting, which was also attended by Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan and Information Minister Parvez Rasheed, they exchanged views on the strategy for talks with the Taliban. Sources said that Nawaz sought Fazl’s help and hoped that other political parties would also stand by the government to bring peace.
Sources said that Fazl cautioned the Premier about the efforts of anti-state elements to sabotage the dialogue process and stressed the need of sticking to the initiative despite impediments. The prime minister said the government would ensure implementation of APC decisions and keep the political leadership abreast of progress in Taliban talks.
Sources said that JUI-F’s joining the federal cabinet also figured in the meeting, but Fazl seemed in no hurry to join the cabinet. Fazl briefed the PM about his talks with President Hamid Karzai and in return Nawaz informed him about visit to the United States.