Fails to evolve consensus | Cabinet members fear actions of govt can spark backlash which is already confronting economic challenges.

ISLAMABAD     -   Federal cabinet deferred some of the most hard decisions against PTI chief Imran Khan and party’s other leaders in the light of the Election Commis­sion of Pakistan decisions, due to lack of consensus.

Credible sources told The Nation that the fed­eral cabinet which met with Prime Minister She­hbaz Sharif in chair discussed verdict of the ECP on foreign funding and various proposals for taking action against PTI chief Imran Khan and his other party leaders. Sources said a cabinet member suggested some of the harsh actions against Imran Khan and party leaders, however other cabinet members were of the view that such actions of government would spark back

lash, which is already confronting economic chal­lenges. Another minister was of the view that any harsh decision taken today might create trouble for PML-N and other parties which were now in power. The cabinet also deferred the decision of placing the name of Imran Khan and other leaders on ECL. However, the cabinet gave approval to declaration to be sent to the Supreme Court of Pakistan against Imran Khan under Political Parties Order 2002. During discussion on proposed measures against Imran Khan, all bureaucrats except law and interior secretaries, were asked to leave the cabinet meeting room and for two hours it was in camera session.

The federal investigation agency was empow­ered to take follow up action in the light of the ECP verdict. The law minister told the meeting that a draft of declaration/reference was being prepared and would be presented to the Federal Cabinet af­ter Ashura, for approval. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif remarked that the present government had nothing to do with this case as it was taken up by Akbar S Babar before ECP and the government was now only implementing the verdict. The prime minister directed the legal team to complete the draft of the declaration and present it in the next cabinet meeting for approval. PM said the govern­ment would follow law and constitution and no ac­tion would be unlawful against PTI.