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September 17, 2017

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Nawaz to be arrested if NAB court orders: PM Abbasi

Nawaz to be arrested if NAB court orders: PM Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday said if the NAB court issued arrest warrant for the deposed prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, then the PML-N-led government would have no option but to implement it.

He said this in an interview with a private TV channel here.

APP adds: PM Abbasi said tough days for the national economy were over, as the country was moving towards progress with an altogether changed investment climate.

He said economic stability was linked with stable national politics and policies and even the court decisions were made keeping in view the national stability.

He said the incumbent government had brought in record investment and various countries were desirous of investing in Pakistan.

The prime minister, who was in London en route to New York to attend the UN General Assembly session, said the government was finalising the implementation of a package to improve exports, as had been committed by Nawaz Sharif.

He said Nawaz had also ensured uninterrupted supply of power to the industry.

Responding to a question, Abbasi said the textile sector was facing difficulties owing to a stiff international competition; however, the government
was taking remedial measures to cope with the issue.

He said credit for successful completion of the IMF plan also went to the current government.

To a query, the prime minister said Pakistan needed to build water storages but unfortunately the previous governments failed to carry out the task.

However, he said, the incumbent government committed to construct the Bhasha Dam and work on the project would start soon. He reiterated that there would be no loadshedding after November this year, as after addition of 10,000 MW electricity, the supply would surpass the demand.

He said the time limit for Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification was yet uncertain; however, he reiterated that even the by-election of NA-120 would be contested in Nawaz Sharif’s name and it would be his party to get the victory.

To a question, he said there was a need to amend articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

He said though the government had two-thirds majority, these articles should be amended only after evolving a consensus.

Asked whether Nawaz Sharif would appear before the National Accountability Court (NAB) on September 19, the prime minister said his lawyers had been representing him and the Bureau could call the former prime minister if deemed it necessary.

However, he called for opting a single yardstick by the NAB and other institutions to handle the cases of Nawaz Sharif and others.

About the election of PML-N president, Prime Minister Abbasi said an acting president was looking after the party matters and ruled out any differences on the issue in the party. He said what to talk of differences, there was even no candidate for the office. Responding to a query, the prime minister observed that Nawaz Sharif was stronger than before July 28 in his party as well as in the country.

He said not only the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) but also he was also pursuing the policies and vision of Nawaz Sharif.

Asked whether he would ask Ishaq Dar to step down as finance minister after filing of a reference against him, the prime minister said he was just facing the allegations and would be innocent until proven guilty.

To a question whether the police would enforce the Election Commission’s arrest warrant for Imran Khan, he said the directives would have to implemented and the officers would have no other options but to comply with them.

Abbasi said he had formed a cabinet of 47 members against the limit of 49 and creation of energy ministry was part of the manifestos of the PML-N as well as the PPP (Pakistan People’s Party).

He said after the US President Donald Trump’s statement, the government immediately summoned a meeting of the National Security Committee and took a strong stance backed by all institutions and political forces.

He said while formulating the foreign policy, Pakistan must be kept first.

About his upcoming visit to the United States, he said it would be mainly to attend the UN session; however, on the sidelines, he would meet some leaders, besides an interaction at the Council of Foreign Relations.

However, he said his meeting with Donald Trump was not on the cards and he could only have a formal interaction with him at a dinner reception if he attended the event.

To a question, the prime minister said Pakistan always expressed its desire to resolve all issues with India through dialogue but the other side gave no positive response.

He said Indian authorities were frustrated over the ongoing freedom struggle by Kashmiri people and reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to continue extending its moral, political and diplomatic support.The prime minister said Afghan-based terrorist forces were supporting terrorism in Pakistan.

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