Abbasi hints at scrapping Article 63 (f)

Conspiracies being hatched to derail system
Staff Reporter


Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday said that Article 63 (f) of the Constitution could be scrapped with the consultation of all parties.
While talking to a private TV channel on Tuesday, the prime minister dropped the hint that his government would take initiative in this regard by contacting all the political parties and politicians of all hues.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expressed his confidence that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government would achieve the mega development targets as conceived by former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. He said the PML-N leadership had shown the resilience despite all odds and continued the democratic system in the face of conspiracies. Responding to different queries, Prime Minister Abbasi said conspiracies were hatched to derail the system.
Any issue which caused harm to a democratically elected government could be construed as conspiracy. Intrigues were made by those elements, who did not want Pakistan to march on the path of progress, he explained. He said Nawaz Sharif had always delivered and compared the previous regimes with the development projects launched by the present PML-N government.
Nawaz Sharif had left his office but his policies continued, he said questioning the capacity of former regimes to achieve a single development target. The prime minister said when juxtaposed with previous regimes, there was a long list of PML-N government’s achievements.
To another question, he said upon the directives of Nawaz Sharif, they restored the prestige of politicians and parliament. In recent times, he said, being in politics had become an abuse, but the people knew it very well who had started that kind of culture. Politicians had been the public punching bags for their politics.
He said the political scene of the country also proved that the people did not like politics of accusations and use of gutter language. “No one will deny that there should be no decency in the politics.” He stressed upon preparation of a new charter of democracy, including subjects like ethics and economy etc., and said that all political parties should be included in that sort of charter.
There was a need to bring all the political parties on one platform. Spelling out objective of such contract, the prime minister said there should be continuity in policies by the subsequent governments.
The prime minister dropped the hint that his government would take initiative in that regard by contacting all the political parties and politicians of all hues. About Article 63 (f) of the Constitution, he said that it could be scrapped if all the parties desired so as the article carried ambiguities.
The prime minister to a query justified size of his cabinet, saying the constitutional limitation for cabinet members was 49. There were about 43 divisions and each required a minister for its smooth functioning, he said and stressed that for running the government affairs in a better manner, sometimes enhanced numbers of minister were required.
Rejecting a general perception about huge expenditures incurred on the cabinet members, the prime minister said less than 0.3 million rupees per year was the total expenditure of a minister, who had to take decisions for billions of rupees in the public interest. He said the issue was about the responsibility and ministers were picked up on the basis of their knowledge and capacities so that at the end, they could deliver.
To another question, the prime minister said it was the strength of the democratic system that after July 28, within four days, new cabinet took oath. He said the continuity in the democratic system was its strength. Now, there was no place for turncoats as they always created hurdles in the system, he said in reply to a question about the past norm of changing party affiliations.
The prime minister said he would remain in the office as long as the parliamentary party desired so. The decision taken by the party members was adopted unanimously by all members of the parliament by voting for him. Praising Nawaz Sharif’s acumen who managed the foreign affairs ministry by himself, the prime minister said that he had not seen such adroitness in any other world leader.
He also expressed his confidence that Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif would also become the most successful foreign minister of the country. “We have to improve relations with all the countries in the region and with neighbours,” he said, adding Pakistan strengthened its ties with China whereas its ties with Russia had witnessed new openings. The ties with the United States required further improvement. About relations with India, the prime minister said that better ties with India were significant for resolving the issue of Indian occupied Kashmir.
Dismissing allegations over liquefied natural gas (LNG) import, the prime minister said the previous regimes could not introduce the fuel. The PML-N government, however, started the process as there was no solution to energy crises in the country.

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