Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that it is a requisite of justice that courts not only deliver justice, but justice must also be seen to be done. But the same did not appear to be happening with ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, he said.
“I always say, justice is not being seen to be delivered in this [Sharif’s] case,” he said in an interview on Saturday.
Abbasi said he and “everyone else” is questioning today whether the biggest criminal of the country was Nawaz Sharif, whether so many references were ever filed against anyone else and whether anyone was disqualified on such “flimsy grounds”. The answers to these questions will become apparent tomorrow, if not today, he said. “People ask ‘if the former prime minister of a country cannot get justice from courts, then who will’?” he complained, but added that the government will implement court orders if Sharif is sent to prison.
In response to a question, the premier said he does not see any obstacle that could prevent general elections 2018 from taking place on time.
“When I came [to the Prime Minister’s Office] on August 1 [last year], they said the government would not last three months; then they said it would not go beyond December 31; then said the Senate elections will not take place.”
But all of the above happened, Abbasi said, adding that the government will complete its term and the elections will then take place within 60 days. Abbasi said he has commenced talks with Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah about the caretaker prime minister but a name has yet to be proposed by either side.
Talking about the upcoming election for the Senate chairman, the prime minister said his ruling PML-N desires that the leader of the upper house should be elected with consensus. He said the Senate and national politics of the country had suffered “immense losses” in this month’s Senate elections because of horsetrading, which he claimed was “very apparent”.
“If a political party does not have the required number of or any MPAs [members of a provincial assembly], how can their senator be elected?” he asked, adding that there is a need to reform the process of Senate elections as the priorities of those “who have been elected by paying money” would be questionable.
Abbasi claimed that the PML-N and their elected senators can say on oath they did not use any money for the Senate elections and other parties should do the same.
Although he refused to take any names, the prime minister claimed that some parties even had to pay their own MPAs to get their votes and his party will expose such people. ‘Ali Siddiqui was chosen as US ambassador on merit’
Asked why he had approved the appointment of Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, son of prominent businessman Jahangir Siddiqui, as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, the prime minister said he had chosen a person who was suitable for the assignment.
The current situation in the US is unique and difficult to handle for traditional diplomacy, Abbasi said, adding that they had nominated Siddiqui after a two-month review because he is “educated and possesses world and political experience”.
“You will now see a new colour of political diplomacy there [US] that will go in Pakistan’s favour,” he said. Rubbishing allegations of nepotism, Abbasi said Siddiqui was a person who could serve well in the unique political scenario prevailing in the US.