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February 9, 2018

‘Talal, Daniyal must apologise’

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February 9, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday said he has reiterated multiple times not to pass statements on military and judiciary, as he shared his thoughts on contempt of court cases against some PML-N leaders in an exclusive interview with senior journalist Hamid Mir.

Speaking in Geo News talk show Capital Talk, Prime Minister Abbasi said there is no room in law and Constitution, nor is there any need, to pass statements on the country’s military and judiciary. “I have specifically said in cabinet and parliamentary meetings not to pass (such) statements..,” he said.

Commenting on contempt of court cases against the PML-N’s Talal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz, the premier said, “If anybody’s sentiments have been hurt, then they should apologise.” On the upcoming Senate elections, Prime Minister Abbasi vowed to publicly name and shame ‘horse-traders’.

“(Definitely), we will name and shame them (horse-traders), they should be held accountable. We will publicly name and shame them,” he said. He said that he visited Quetta to inquire from party leaders about the reasons of a no-confidence motion against the chief minister.

"Whatever happened in Balochistan, it will weaken democracy. The entire country will have its eyes on Balochistan during the Senate elections," he said.

Prime Minister Abbasi said ones who paidelections," he said. Prime Minister Abbasi said the ones, who paid money to secure votes, cannot represent the province in the Senate. He said the government's job is to improve policies and maintained that he has furthered them. "There's no example of the initiatives undertaken by the incumbent government in past 65 years," he said.

The prime minister said that the law and the Constitution do not allow a politician to speak against institutions, however, individuals say emotional things at rallies and public meetings.

Speaking about Pervez Musharraf's return to country, PM Abbasi said, "Musharraf went out of the country after court orders and if the court says, we will further expedite efforts to bring him back."

He further said that being an independent candidate, he first contested an election 30 years ago on the wishes of the people of his constituency. "I neither changed the party, nor ever thought of it." The prime minister said if an individual commits a mistake by leaving the party, but returns later, then there is some room, adding, "Several people had been under pressure to leave the party, a few endured, others could not."

In response to a question, he said that a final decision regarding PML-N candidate for next prime minister would be made after the general elections. Abbasi said that a party finalises the name of a candidate only after gaining majority in the elections. He, however, expressed hope that the PML-N will gain majority in the next elections. Asked about Shahbaz Sharif being nominated for the next PM, he said a formal announcement regarding his nomination would be made through official sources. The prime minister said Shahbaz has done a lot for the PML-N and he would have a key role in the victory in forthcoming elections.

He elaborated that everyone acknowledges Shehbaz's hard work in Punjab, including their worst opponents. With regard to Naqeebullah Mehsud’s killing case, Abbasi said extrajudicial killings by the police are not a solution to the issue. He said efforts are being made to arrest Rao Anwar and the suspended police officer had better appear in court and defend himself.

"It is not in favour of Anwar to not appear before the court and he is declaring himself guilty by doing so," he said. With regard to Pakistan-US relations, the prime minister said this is the first time that such statements are being issued by a US president. He said if Washington wants it aid to be accounted for, then it should send a formal request.

Abbasi said the country is still functioning despite suspension of aid. "We want Pak-US ties to remain cordial; we never closed our doors for talks," he said. Commenting on Afghanistan's situation, he maintained that solution to Afghan issue lies in talks. "Pakistan is affected most for whatever happens in Afghanistan," he said. He urged the Afghan government to resolve its issues through dialogue.

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