ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Saturday said the government would act upon if the court ordered to bring Pervez Musharraf back to Pakistan.
The prime minister, in an interview with a private television channel (Dawn News), said Musharraf was removed from the Exit Control List and allowed to travel abroad on court orders for medical treatment and was ready to bring him back if the court ordered so.
Asked as to why the government had not placed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on the ECL, he said it was the government’s discretion and believed that being the leader of the biggest political party, Nawaz Sharif would never leave the country.
He said Nawaz Sharif was disqualified on weak grounds and his cases had been made time bound. His cases were being heard thrice a week, he added.
He reiterated his party’s stance to confront those who had reached the Senate using their riches as such people would have different priorities and would deliver nothing.
About the National Accountability Ordinance, he said it was promulgated by a dictator that should have been abolished long ago. Even the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had once evolved consensus over a draft of the amended law but, later, both the opposition parties changed their minds.
To a question about appointment of Ali Janagir Siddiqui as Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, he said the prevailing circumstances required a political diplomacy, different from the traditional one. The matter remained under review for two months and then it was decided to appoint a highly educated person as the envoy. The people would feel the difference, he added.
He ruled out the rumours that Siddiqui was his business partner and explained that he had decided the matter on merit and never obliged any of his relatives.
To another question, the prime minister said Nawaz Sharif had been appearing before the courts as legal obligation.
Asked as to whether any conspiracy was being hatched against the former prime minister, he said any decision, which hurt the country, was considered a conspiracy.
He said Shehbaz Sharif was the candidate for the premiership, however, the party would take the final decision after its got the majority in the next general election.
Regarding Pakistan’s possible placement on the FATF’s grey list in June, the prime minister said a lobby had worked against the country, but despite not being member of the body, it presented its viewpoint and steps very clearly. The country's position had been clearly explained to the world, he added.
Regarding the registration of Milli Muslim League backed by Hafiz Saeed Ahmed, he said the Election Commission of Pakistan would decide the matter and the government would review it if the court had ordered so.
To a question about the fate of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, he said no one was ready to fund the project as Iran was not allowed to export gas. Moreover, the financiers were reluctant to support as the funding was not protected under certain laws.
He called for an end to Indian atrocities in the occupied Kashmir and said Pakistan had been urging the world to pressure India to resolve the dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council’s resolutions.
He said Pakistan wanted peace in Afghanistan as any lawlessness in that country directly impacted it. The Afghans must sit together to resolve their issues themselves, he added.
Responding to a query, Prime Minister Abbasi said the improvement of Pakistan’s economy was being acknowledged worldwide as many of the challenges had been handled and the rest were being addressed.
About PIA's privatization and restructuring, he said the entity had incurred Rs 45 billion loss last year, which could not go for long.
He openly offered to the opposition parties criticizing the process, to take over the PIA even without any money but they should prove by reviving it.