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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that there is a severe punishment in the Constitution for speaking and conspiring against the armed forces of the country, and the law to this effect would take its own course.

Talking to journalists at an Iftar dinner hosted by the prime minister at the PM House on Tuesday, he said that he did not want the PTI members to resign from the assemblies but they decided to do so and now the decision regarding their resignations would be taken as per rules.

The issue of resignation is legal and some members have maintained that they were “forced to resign”. About the appointment of the Chief of Army Staff, he said that the appointment would be done in accordance with the rules and regulations as new army chief’s appointment is a requirement of the Constitution.

About former Speaker and former Deputy Speaker, he said that they have violated the Constitution and the President’s stance on the issue of oath was not worthy of his office.

The prime minister further stated that the ‘conspiracy’ in vote of no confidence against the former prime minister was not proven in the two meetings of the National Security Committee that the US was behind it. He said that the matter would also be brought before the parliamentary security committee and on the issue of external interference a commission may also be set up.

He said that the government wanted good relations with the US and will try to improve them. He said that the bureaucrats and businessmen have been complaining about the NAB and the present government would consider about the future of the NAB.

The prime minister said that the incompetence of the previous government has created the energy crisis in the country because the oil and LNG was not ordered, timely.

He said that a few months ago, LNG was available at very cheap price but that opportunity was wasted and the government’s relations with Saudi Arabia and Qatar were deteriorated owing to the incompetence of the previous government.

The prime minister said that for the first time in history of the country, the government was changed through constitutional means. He criticised the diplomacy adopted by the previous government, saying consequently, Pakistan’s relations were affected. He said that in the past, threats were also received on 9/11 and during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s tenures but those were dealt amicably.

He said that when the country would become economically strong, it would not need to listen to anyone, but no one cares about the economically weak countries.

He also gave the example of the former Soviet Union and stated that they were militarily strong but disintegrated because of their economic problems.

He said that he does not believe in revenge and stated that he was not aware of missing of files about his cases and this matter would be investigated.

The prime minister made it clear that election would be held after reforms. He stated that he would meet the Saudi leadership during his visit to the Kingdom and would also visit China soon.

About the former prime minister Imran Khan’s call for a sit-in in Islamabad, Shehbaz Sharif said that there is no objection to protests as long as they are peaceful and in accordance to democratic manners. He added that the people will not be allowed to face difficulties. No one will be allowed to create chaos on the streets, he said, adding that when drone strikes took place in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, as a chief minister he had refused to take US assistance. He said that some media channels had levelled allegation against him and as a result relations with China were damaged.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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