Govt-PTI talks only after Imran apology to nation, says PM

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.

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