- Says he is hopeful that commitments from friendly countries will also be done
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday claimed that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was onboard with the new programme but asked for a step-by-step guarantee due to past breaches of promises under the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
Speaking in the National Assembly, he maintained that the “IMF wants external financing commitments fulfilled from friendly countries before it releases bailout funds.”
Heaping praise on Ishaq Dar, he said that the finance minister had worked hard in negotiating with the IMF, and added, “Now we are hopeful that the commitments from friendly countries will also be done”.
Reducing CJP’s powers
Endorsing the verdict by two apex court judges who called for limiting Chief Justice of Pakistan’s (CJP) suo motu powers, the prime minister urged legislation from the National Assembly in this regard, saying the voices from within the judiciary were a new ray of hope.
The house which held here with National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in the chair, Sharif read out the decision of SC judges Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah.
“If the house did not pass the legislation, history will not forgive it,” he maintained.
He said that according to the judges, the 4-3 decision of judges in the suo motu case prevailed over the 1st March 3-2 verdict.
On the other issues raised in the dissenting note, Sharif said that it was the need of the time that “we sit in this house, do consultation and see what legislation we can enact in light of yesterday’s judgement.”
He said the parliament had the right to legislate on all matters in the country’s interest, and reiterated that “the country would not forgive the lawmakers if they did not enact legislation after Monday’s dissenting note”.
Regarding the audio leak of a conversation with an apex court judge, he made a request to the top court for a forensic analysis of the audio.
“The politicians are put in jails in no time … but how many judges have been ousted on corruption,” he added.
“The lawmakers need to decide if they will act as a herd of cattle or will we tread the path of rule of law and rule of constitution. The time has come for us to decide,” he added.
No talks with PTI chief
At the same time, Sharif blamed former prime minister Imran Khan for the political and economic instability in the country and reiterated that “enough is enough”, the law would take its course and the government would not allow “the favourite” to play with the country.
He also claimed that the former prime minister is still enjoying immunity from the rule of law despite his persistent blackmailing and abuse of the judiciary.
“We need a categorical decision if we want to give relief to the masses or to the “blue-eyed” who does not abide by the law,” he added.
He pointed out that Imran, who had a “habit of not appearing before courts and frequently mocks the judiciary”, was still getting extensions in bail.
Sharif recalled that the senior PML-N leadership faced imprisonment for fake cases registered against them but “no leniency was extended to them”.
“When Maryam Nawaz visited her father in jail, she was arrested during the visit,” he said.
He said the three pillars of the state, including legislature, judiciary, and executive, had to play their due roles, otherwise, “time will be left with regrets only.”
“We have to decide for the future of the nation and take guidance from law and Constitution,” he added.
He also claimed the PTI chief’s violation of the pledges with the IMF led to a serious economic crisis with an increase in foreign debt and inflation.
He added that the government was trying to mend the relations with friendly countries that suffered damage during the PTI tenure.
“He has created a big divide among the nation and no one is questioning him,” he said, adding, “The law will take its course and this non-serious person would not be allowed to incur further damage to the country.”
He regretted that “Imran is openly criticising the brave armed forces, which is making the enemies of the country happy and ran a malicious campaign against the army chief abroad,” he added.
During the PTI’s tenure, he said that the terrorists returned to their safe havens, adding that the matter needed an investigation.
The premier said talks with Imran were not possible until he apologised to the nation for his ills, adding “if he genuinely wants to sit down for negotiations, he should first seek forgiveness from the nation for his wrong-doings”.
“As a Pakistani, parliamentarian and the head of the country, I request the house to take urgent notice of the situation that Imran has created in the country. The parliament needs to take solid action, otherwise, history will not spare us. Imran is trying to bury the 1973 constitution,” he concluded.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023