Wednesday September 28, 2022

Shehbaz Sharif questions sparing of president, PM, deputy speaker in March

Shehbaz Sharif said that the president, prime minister and deputy speaker had violated the Constitution in March but they were never called by any court

By Our Correspondent
July 28, 2022
PM Shehbaz speaking at the floor of the National Assembly on July 27, 2022. Photo: PID
PM Shehbaz speaking at the floor of the National Assembly on July 27, 2022. Photo: PID

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Wednesday that the president, prime minister and deputy speaker had violated the Constitution in March but they were never called by any court. Accusing the judiciary of having double standards, he said that there should be an equal justice for everyone to run the country. He said that there should not be a difference between the treatment meted out to him and his opponents.

“I am talking about double standards and will speak the truth while standing on the floor of the National Assembly. You will have to take decisions based on justice and for the rightful,” the prime minister, while speaking in the National Assembly Wednesday evening, said. He said the country could not make progress if there was no justice. “The courts should take decisions while considering justice and the truth,” he said.

Tracing back the history of suo moto notices, Shehbaz Sharif said there was a chief justice who used to take notice day and night.

“There are no two opinions that courts summon you, then they should be respected but there should also be equal treatment to all,” he said.

He said they did not object to suo moto notices but the judiciary would have to mete out equal treatment based on justice to all. He said he always respected judiciary whenever he was summoned.

He reiterated that the Constitution was sacred, which defines limits and powers of all the institutions, including Parliament, judiciary and executive and they have to serve the country while remaining within their constitutional limits. “But unfortunately, for the last 75 years, a havoc was wreaked on the Constitution,” he said.

He said that the only agenda of the previous PTI government was to push the opponents to the wall. “Not even a single penny of corruption was proven but they went on calling us dacoits and thieves,” he said

Shehbaz said that corruption was at its peak during the tenure of the previous PTI government, which was verified by the Transparency International and other international institutions but no suo moto action was taken then.

The prime minister said that it was due to the inefficiency of the incumbent government that the country was now facing a shortage of three million tons of wheat. “It was also the previous government which had allowed export of sugar when its rate was Rs52 and later subsidy of billions of rupees was given on import of the same commodity,” he said.

He also questioned why foreign funding case against the PTI had not been announced in the last eight years. “I did not bring foreign funding from countries like India and Israel,” he said.

Shehbaz said he would die the day when he faced allegations like contained in the foreign funding case, questioning as to why the Chief Election Commissioner was not announcing a verdict. He said nobody took notice when the country’s economic sovereignty was compromised while reaching an agreement with the IMF, when helicopter and Malam Jabba cases were closed and BRT Peshawar case was also closed.

“Our women were arrested but nobody took notice and no notice was also taken when the sister of Imran Khan was provided relief by the FBR,” he said, adding no suo moto notice was taken when the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) closed the Moonis Elahi case. He recalled that no suo moto notice was also taken when Imran Khan was instigating his workers for violence and appealed the people to burn electricity bills, also when he said the country would be divided into three parts.

Shehbaz Sharif said the court itself said that the National Assembly’s Deputy Speaker had violated the Constitution but he was not summoned but the Punjab deputy speaker was ordered to appear for giving a ruling. He said that a government was imposed that was the production of rigging.

In the nearly four years, they secured foreign loans and GDP growth rate came down to less than two percent and millions of people were rendered jobless and the economy was on the verge of disaster.

“Then opposition allies decided to sacrifice their politics for the sake of state because our country was going to default and took a difficult decision after consultation,” he said.

The prime minister, however, said they did not get government from backdoor and under the Constitution sent the previous government packing.

“We all knew that it was not a bed of roses and I accepted the responsibility of prime minister at a difficult time of the country’s history,” he said. He said he could have become the prime minister in the past also as he got opportunities to have this portfolio many times in the past.

“Pervez Musharraf had also offered me the slot of prime minister but I did not accept the illegitimate offer,” he said, adding that he was also offered the same slot in 1992. Shehbaz Sharif also pointed out that he got bail in his cases on merit, saying that it was Shahzad Akbar who had asked the National Crime Agency (NCA) to hold an investigation against him but by the Grace of Allah no corruption was proved against him during nearly two years of inquiry.

On the other hand, he said no suo moto action was taken by the judiciary when a person was provided Rs50 billion relief by the federal cabinet.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also announced the maximum relief for masses affected by rains in Balochistan and other parts of the country. He talked about the country’s faltering economy, the troubles that the government faced in a bid to rectify the situation and the devastation caused by the monsoon rainfalls in the country among other issues.

Shehbaz Sharif also said that the coalition government was aware of the destruction caused by the rains and added that for this purpose, it had held meetings with all the provincial governments. He said that the provincial governments were working day and night in areas where people had lost their lives and suffered economically.

He said the federal government had decided to increase the relief package for those affected by the rains, adding that a meeting would take place Thursday (today) to discuss the provision of relief to the people. The premier said that the federal government would work with the provincial governments to overcome the losses and help farmers who suffered the most.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that he would keep trying as long as he had the confidence of the party, coalition leaders, and the house. “No matter what happens, I will be the same servant of Pakistan, the same Shehbaz Sharif,” he said.

Talking about the country’s situation, he said: “I cannot sleep at night thinking why we are behind other countries who got independence after us in terms of progress. Even 75 years later, we have still not decided our path.” He said the coalition government as per the Constitution had sent the PTI government packing and he would continue to fight Imran Khan’s fascism and his mindset and would not succumb to any pressure.