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June 15, 2019

Talpur arrest: Law doesn’t discriminate between men and women, says Firdous

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June 15, 2019

LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that the law does not discriminate women from men and if any woman commits a crime, she will also have to face the accountability process.

The SAPM was commenting on the arrest of Faryal Talpur, the sister of Asif Ali Zardari and a Sindh Assembly member, in Islamabad in connection with money-laundering through fake bank accounts case, while talking to the media outside the Punjab Assembly on Friday.

Dr Firdous said it was prerogative of the National Assembly speaker to issue the production order for Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and any decision in that regard would be acceptable to the government. She said the government was committed to bridging the gap between thebar and the bench. To a question, she said the elements involved in corruption during Musharraf era would also face the process of accountability. She said she was there to congratulate the Punjab government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf over successful presentation of the annual budget 2019-20 despite hardships.

Dr Firdous said the Punjab province had been turned into a slave of “Takht-e-Lahore” during the previous tenure through its finance system, but the budget presented by the PTI government guaranteed prosperity of the entire province. She said that in the past, Punjab was run as a ‘family kingdom’, but now situation had changed and the 2019-20 annual budget was aimed at fulfilling problems related to the people of province including youth, women, farmers etc.

She said farmers of Punjab were being facilitated by the government now. And through ‘Ahsaas Programme’, the downtrodden and poor segments of society would be supported. Besides, Dr Firdous said industries network would spread across Punjab whereas the public money would be spent on projects aimed at providing clean drinking water to the population unlike the past when rulers plundered national exchequer in the name of such projects.

She also said the government was paying back loans acquired by the previous governments and added that those who put the country under massive burden of foreign loans were asking the incumbent government about its performance.

To a question related to former president Pervez Musharraf, Dr Firdous said he was already facing cases in courts, but elements involved in corruption in his era would also face the process of accountability.

To a question about the standoff between the government and a faction of lawyers, Dr Firdous said the Lahore Bar Association deserved praise for its role in ensuring the supremacy of law, constitution while deciding to continue work in courts.

She said the lawyers associations did not want to politicise the issue related to judiciary as per the will of the opposition parties. Inviting the lawyer community to come forward and join hands with the government in rebuilding a new Pakistan, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the PTI government was also committed to bridge the gap between the bar and the bench.

To another question, she said MNAs Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir were facing courts due to terrorist cases pending against them. Dr Firdous said all political parties had decided to implement the National Action Plan to combat terrorism.

APP adds: SAPM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had always remained in the forefront of struggle for the independence of judiciary and the rule of law. In future, it would follow the same path, she assured.

In a tweet, she said the references against judges were a judicial matter which would be taken up by honourable judges of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC). She said lawyers’ community of Pakistan was flag-bearers of supremacy of the constitution and protection of democracy. She appealed to lawyers to utilise their capabilities for strengthening of the judicial system and the government agenda of reformation.

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the Punjab budget 2019-20 would be as per aspirations of people. She said the budget would not only benefit the oppressed segments of society but also support the industry, agriculture and other sectors. She said Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and his team gave priority to all less-developed areas of the province.

She said the provincial budget 2019-20 would be a way forward towards making a "Green Pakistan". The budget would help empower women, and now the disabled persons would be given the title of VIPs.

She congratulated the Lahore Bar Association, Lahore High Court Bar Association, Punjab Bar Council and the Lawyers Action Committee for not becoming part of the strike and attending the court proceedings for the supremacy of the law and constitution. Constitutional and legal issues should not be politicized, she added. She said the lawyer organisations should sit together with the government to ensure quick and inexpensive justice to people.

The special assistant said that collective efforts were imperative to eliminate lacunae in the criminal proceedings, prosecution and judicial system besides strengthening liaison between the bench and the bar. About increase in dollar price in the market, she said it was a temporary pressure on rupee and soon the economy would move towards stability.

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