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March 18, 2018

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Test for democracy if third party decides interim setups: Ahsan

News desk

LAHORE: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday said a third party, instead of the government and the opposition, deciding the caretaker setup would be a test for democracy.

He said Pervez Musharraf should not worry about his security as the state would provide him with the best security imaginable if he decided to come back and face the courts, which he should.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Nadra Mobile Registration Service Centre, he said that Musharraf was in great health now and the reason he furbished to justify his leave from Pakistan and the treason cases did not stand anymore. He is a civilian leader of a political party and is accountable for his actions like any other civilian, therefore, he should come back to face the cases, Ahsan pressed.

“If someone can compromise being next to a seriously ill hospitalised cancer patient wife to respect the judicial process of the country, why can’t a perfectly healthy man like Musharraf with no constraints does the same”, questioned the minister.

Regarding the recent talk vis-à-vis the names of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz being placed on the Exit Control List (ECL), he said that it was for the government to decide who would be placed on the ECL and who would be not, based on the relevant reasoning. In 2016, the Supreme Court had given a judgment that all cases related to the ECL would be sent to the Cabinet, but not a single case was referred to the Cabinet during the previous period, he added.

The interior minister said there were forces in this country that were not a big fan of elections and democracy. "Why is it that the love for accountability, and that too selective, [always] suddenly emerges right before the elections while everyone keeps snoozing for the five years before elections,” he questioned.

He said that respect of courts should be maintained and all institutions should function efficiently within their constitutional bounds. Stressing the need to unite for the national progress, he said it was need of the hour as the enemy wanted to fail China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Ahsan stated that the elections would be held on time, adding that it was a success of democracy that Senate elections were held according to schedule; otherwise, some elements wanted to derail democratic process by dissolution of the National Assembly.

He said that elections 2018 would be held on time, despite multiple efforts and organised campaigns to derail democratic process by dissolution of the National Assembly and disruption of the Senate elections schedule.

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