Shehbaz Sharif says politicians are put in jails but judges not ousted on corruption n Rules out talks with Imran; says not possible to sit with someone who infringed the Constitution n Today, the fight is between democracy and fascism: PM n Calls PTI leader the biggest fraudster in country.
ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday ruled out any negotiations with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan stating that the coalition government will hold talks only if the former premier apologises to the people of the country over his wrongdoings.
The prime minister stated this while speaking on the floor of the National Assembly. The premier also discussed legislations related to judicial powers, previous government era, and hitches in IMF deal during his speech.
About PTI's recent offer for dialogue, he set a condition for Imran Khan to apologise from the people of country over his mismanagement and wrongdoings before sitting with government for dialogue. Shehbaz Sharif did not hesitate to label former premier as a fraud.
He said how it would be possible to sit with someone who had “looted the country, attacked the judiciary and even infringed the constitution. He recalled the former premier had repeatedly rejected offers of talks even on COVID-19, the state of terrorism in the country, the apex committee meeting or the Kashmir conference etc.
Prime Minister invited the lawmakers decide if they wanted to continue with the prevailing ‘law of the jungle’ in the country or legislate for upholding the rule of law. He said," It is high time that we take a decision with collective wisdom,” he said, adding the country was at the watershed of history and it was important for the parliament to legislate on “matters concerning the country”.
Sharif said the 1973 Constitution had defined the ambit of the State institutions and set a red line about their functioning. “Today this Constitution has become a joke and the country is suffering from a serious situation,” he said.
“Today, the fight is between democracy and fascism … It is high time that we take a decision with collective wisdom,” he said in his address on the floor of the National Assembly.
“We need a categorical decision if we want to give relief to the nation or the ‘favoured one’ who does not abide by the law,” he said. Regarding the audio leak of a conversation with a Supreme Court judge, the prime minister made a request to the superior court for a forensic of the audio.
“Politicians are put in jails in no time, but how many judges have been ousted on corruption,” he said.
“The parliamentarians need to decide if they will act as a herd of cattle or have the audacity to decide about their future themselves,” he said. “A liar and non-serious person incurred a big loss to the country. The biggest fraud of the country’s history has deceived the public in the name of the State of Medina,” he said.
“He (Imran) has created a big divide among the nation and no one is questioning him,” he said. “Law will take its course and this non-serious person would not be allowed to incur further damage to the country.”
PM said that Khan, who was habitual of not appearing before courts and frequently mocked the judiciary, was still getting extensions in bail. About PTI’s era, he said that senior leadership of opposition party faced imprisonment for fake cases registered against them, however, no leniency was extended to them. “On the other hand, he [Imran Khan] has got a long ‘innings’. Every court in the country is granting him an extension. Is this the criteria of justice,” he raised a question before the House.
He said the three pillars of the State, including legislature, judiciary, and executive, had to play their due role, otherwise, the time would be left with regrets only. “We have to decide for the future of the nation and take guidance from law and constitution,” he said.
The prime minister termed as a ‘ray of hope’ the 4-3 decision of judges in a suo motu case regarding elections that dismissed the proceedings contending that the chief justice of Pakistan does not have the power to restructure benches without the consent of the respective judges.
A day earlier, in a 27-page detailed note — considered to be a ‘judgement’ — for the apex court’s March 1 verdict in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa suo motu, Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail pointed out that it is important “to revisit the power of ‘one-man show’ enjoyed by the office of the CJP [Umar Ata Bandial]”. “The voices for change stemming from the judiciary itself is certainly a ray of hope for the country,” premier said, adding that if the house did not play its part in making the ‘needed” changes, the nation will not forgive them.
He said Imran Khan made false cases against the opposition when he was in government and signed an agreement with the IMF [International Monetary Fund] and violated it,” the premier said listing down the wrongdoings of the PTI government.
About ECP decision to delay the polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa till October 8, the premier justified the electoral body’s decision by saying that the decision has been taken keeping in view the resurgence of terrorism in the country.
“No political party can run away from the elections, as polls are the beauty of a democracy,” he said.
He said Imran Khan misguided the public through his so-called “regime change” narrative, however, later took a U-turn on his own stance.
He said the government was trying to mend the relations with friendly countries that suffered damage during the tenure of Imran Khan. The prime minister said the hypocrisy was at its height as Imran Khan had now hired a U.S. lobbying firm besides holding meetings with diplomats.
Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar , taking part in debate, said all judges of the court should unite to interpret the Constitution not through the lense of an individual but the entire judiciary.
Qamar said the country was at the crossroads of its history. “Unfortunately, we have seen historically there have been encroachments on the role of each institution on the other during the martial law regimes,” he added. He said the dictator and former president late Pervez Musharraf tried to amass all the powers of the legislature and tried to infringe the powers of the Chief Justice of Pakistan but it were the political parties that stood against him.
Earlier, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs addressed the house to table the special motion. He said this house was formed by the trust and representation of the masses and was bound to give direction to them at these times of crisis and uncertainty. The Opposition Leader also strongly criticised Imran Khan’s policy. He was seen thumping desk during the speech of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
The prime minister said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan was enjoying immunity from the rule of law despite his persistent blackmailing and abuse of the judiciary.
He said the three pillars of the State, including legislature, judiciary, and executive, had to play their due role, otherwise, the time would be left with regrets only.
“We have to decide for the future of the nation and take guidance from law and constitution,” he said.