ISLAMABAD: Dr Arif Alvi has said that being the president of the country, he keeps advising Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain from time to time.
While replying to a question by anchorperson Hamid Mir in Geo News programme Capital Talk about minister’s hard-hitting statements in the parliament and a direction given to him by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani for seeking apology from the opposition members over his harsh criticism, the president said it might happen during exchange of barbs. However, he added, as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was the ruling party, it should keep the government running.
To another question, he admitted that he had failed thus far to get rid of protocol despite his making conscious efforts.
About his protocol in Quetta during a recent visit, he said he would now write to the provinces to keep his motorcade as short as required by the security.
He said he had never claimed presidential immunity in a pending case against him, which is related to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s sit-in in 2014. He said he believed that there should be no immunity in criminal cases.
He said during the hearing of a case against him, his lawyer told the court that he (president) wanted to pursue the case as the allegations levelled in the case were baseless. However, he said the judge was bound by Article 248 (2) of the Constitution and suspended the proceedings against him.
To yet another question, President Alvi said the main reason for non-cooperation between the ruling and the opposition parties, especially Pakistan Muslim League-N, was the corruption cases being heard by different courts currently.
Discussing the recent protest by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), the president called for revival of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) as a strong body to discuss the new narratives of Islam like Namoos-e-Risalat. He believed that Namoos-e-Risalat was part of everyone’s faith, but burning or damaging people’s properties was contrary to the teachings of Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him). He said during his interactions with the party leaders, he had advised them to avoid any harsh action against the protesters. He said he will respect the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on the issue of sit-ins after the release of Aasia Bibi in blasphemy case.
Regarding Dr Aafia issue, he said being the president he could raise the issue with the US authorities during any interaction with them, adding that strong efforts had to be made in this regard.
He said under Article 46, the law ministry was apprising him about the pending legislation. He told Hamid Mir that in order to discourage the practice of depriving women of their right to inheritance, he said a landmark bill was about to be tabled before the parliament which would provide for automatic transfer of property to the legal heirs as per the family record with National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).
He said in future, he would be sitting in his chamber at the Parliament House to interact with parliamentarians from all parties.
To a query, he said since his college age, he had been fighting against corruption.
He said that pursuing the government’s austerity drive, he opted to reside in half a floor of five-storey presidency. He said the presidency had started arranging students’ visits to the building.
He said that on Monday, the First Lady had scheduled a ceremony in connection with Miladun-Nabi (PBUH) where the orphan children from Sweet Homes had been invited. Moreover, an exhibition would be held to display the works of renowned artist Sadequain at the presidency to ensure building’s use for the public.
To a question, he said he had been interacting with Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-N) leaders and discussing with them the issue of missing persons.