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December 6, 2018

CJ asks PM to update laws: Panama verdict laid basis for Naya Pakistan, says PM

Top Story

December 6, 2018

Ag Agencies

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday said the Panama case verdict was very important and it laid the foundation of ‘Naya Pakistan’.

"The influential came inside the noose due to Panama verdict," Imran Khan said at a conference on population control at the Supreme Court under the Chief Justice of Pakistan.

The premier said Pakistan is currently in this situation because the previous governments did not think beyond their five-year tenure, adding that Chief Justice Saqib Nisar ‘did what the previous governments should have done’.

All four provincial chief ministers and Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider also attended the day-long symposium.

Imran Khan began his speech on a lighter note, saying: “I am grateful that I have been called here, not at Court No.1.”

According to the prime minister, the CJP had taken steps which democratic governments should have done.

“You asked why democratic government had not thought of water. They were not thinking beyond five years. We are facing these problems due to short-term thinking,” he said. “The basis for the state of Madina was rule of law. In western countries rule of law was established from democracy,” he said.

Speaking on the issue of population, the prime minister said he was an environmentalist form the start. “I remember when I was young there would be a temperature difference from one area of Lahore to another. There were green areas in the city. People would drink water from their tap, Ravi used to be a nice river and now it is a garbage dump. The city is all concrete now,” the premier said.

The prime minister said he wanted to break the walls of the Governor House Punjab so people could see the gardens. He added that children needed to be educated about family planning and the environment in school. “Pakistan is number seven on the list of nations which will be most affected by climate change,” he said.

The prime minister said the government will launch a comprehensive campaign to check the population growth. He said under the campaign family planning and environment protection will be made part of curriculum. He said on the pattern of Bangladesh and Iran, religious scholars will also be taken on board besides the media to raise awareness amongst the people about family planning.

The PM said he also used to hear that separation of Bangladesh was good as it was a burden. However, he said, it is the same Bangladesh which is making development now.

“The rate at which population is growing and cities are spreading is having a devastating impact on our environment,” said the prime minister.

He thanked the CJP for raising this issue and was grateful to see that all chief ministers were on-board.

“A dictator would try to become a democrat and an elected leader would try to become a dictator,” he said adding, “Only that society progresses which upholds supremacy of the law.”

The prime minster termed establishing the rule of law by the chief justice as a good step. “No one can come into government and think they have absolute power anymore,” he said.

“The Capital Development Authority informed the Supreme Court about my Banigala residence. This would not have been done before,” he said.

According to the prime minister, the fundamental reason the west was ahead of Pakistan was primarily due to the rule of law. He said the institutions should work within their jurisdiction while remaining powerful.

Imran Khan said visionary leaders think ahead of time and unfortunately the leadership in the last three decades did not have vision or plan anything for development of the country. He said short-term planning does not bear fruit, and only long-term planning is a recipe to success. He said Pakistan was thinking ahead at the time when Mangla and Tarbela dams were constructed. He said Ayub Khan did not have limited thinking as development in 60’s was quite visible.

He said that in Naya Pakistan the rule of law is being implemented. He said legislation is on the cards to revamp the outdated justice system. He said the government has prepared six laws including amendments to the civil and criminal procedure code.

Referring to the successful tree plantation campaign in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Imran Khan said the government will now plant ten billion plants in five years.

The premier claimed that the best period of Pakistani history has begun.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said in his address that time had come to bring reforms in the law and increase the number of judges in the country.

The chief justice said the law dating back to the 19th century was being practiced in the country in the 21st century.

"To run the country, Parliament is the supreme institution," he said, lamenting that eons had passed but legislation was not made.

"Now the time has come to bring reforms in the law," Justice Saqib Nisar said, adding, "We will have to increase the number of judges and update the judicial structure."

He questioned was the law dating back to 1850 applicable today. He said there are many laws which are no longer required. The chief justice stressed the need for assistance from the prime minister and Parliament in this regard.

"The judiciary can't bear this burden now that a case is heard for years and years," he said, adding that it was high time to quit the practice of boycotting parliamentary proceedings and they must do legislation. He said Parliament was the supreme institution of the country after the Constitution.

Justice Saqib Nisar called for providing judiciary the tools necessary to fulfil modern-day requisites. He requested the prime minister to update the laws about judiciary. He said recommendations in this regard should be taken from the judiciary and presented in the Parliament for necessary amendments. “We request the PM to update the laws,” the CJP said. He said there is a lot of space for improvement in the judicial system.

The chief justice said the rapid rate of population growth is putting immense stress on our limited resources. He said essential resources like water are already facing pressure due to increased use by expanding population. He lamented that no attention was paid to build dams for the last 40 years. He said the water shortage will turn into a crisis in 2025.

“We have to promote the better usage of water in the country to meet the requirements of burgeoning population,” he said, adding that population of Pakistan could reach 450 million in 30 years if the current rate of growth was not checked. He said we are currently giving birth to indebted children. He said the population growth needs to be controlled as it is a matter of survival for Pakistan.

He said media can play an important role in spreading awareness about merits of less population for national development. He assured the government of judiciary's complete cooperation in implementing a Madina-like state in Pakistan. The chief justice said the judiciary can only give suggestions on population control and the powers of implementation rest with the prime minister and the government.

Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Dr Sanya Nishtar said serious steps need to be taken to check the rampant growth in population. She gave three-point recommendations on the issue.

Renowned religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel said Imran Khan is the first PM who presented the concept of state of Madina. He said poverty and social pressures are important causes of population growth. He said the issue of population control needs to be seriously taken.

Earlier, Secretary Ministry of National Health Services Zahid Saeed informed the participants that a nationwide campaign to highlight the issue of population control will be started in cooperation with all provinces soon. He said a number of meetings were held on the issue and the provinces have also given their recommendations on controlling the population. He said the prime minister has called a meeting of Council of Common Interests (CCI) on this issue in which all recommendations were approved with consensus. He said Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and the main reasons of this alarming increase are lack of awareness and no clear policy on this issue.

Prominent experts and distinguished scholars also highlighted new demographic realities of Pakistan, family planning in the context of mother and child health, quality of population and productivity and advocacy campaign for population planning in the country.

A documentary on population dynamics was presented at the event, while renowned vocalist Shahzad Roy sang the theme song.

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