Abbasi also opposes national govt idea
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said the constitution does not have provision for a government of technocrats.
In an interview, he said the government of technocrats won’t have mandate of the people while an elected government has. He believed a non-elected government cannot work.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the adventures and experiments of technocrat and national governments had proved futile in the past and advocated for public-mandated governments which, he said, go through the public scanner in every election for judgement of its performance.
“What have technocrat governments given [the nation] in the past? A government with no mandate cannot work,” he said. “An elected government, even if it is [regarded as] a lame duck, can work as people have chosen it and they would reject it in the next election if it failed to serve them.”
He said former President Pervez Musharraf had also formed both national and technocrat governments and the nation witnessed their poor performances.
Moving on to PML-N minister Riaz Pirzada’s comments about the need for Shahbaz Sharif to take over the party, Abbasi said that the issue had been settled when the party’s general council re-elected Nawaz Sharif as PML-N president.
“The reappointment did not leave any room for such comments,” Abbasi said, adding that he was available to Pirzada to hear his viewpoint but the minister opted to raise the issue in the media.
The prime minister denied the reports that the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had handed over a list of people wanted by the US to Pakistan’s government during his recent visit.
He added that Tillerson had reiterated his country’s demand of acting against the cross-border militant sanctuaries.
“The Afghan issue can only be resolved through dialogue and Pakistan can contribute to this peace process.”
Pakistan has already clarified that there are no militants sanctuaries in Pakistan. “In fact, the terror attacks in Pakistan have been carried out from Afghanistan,” he said.
On the idea of a joint operation, he said being a sovereign country, Pakistan would not allow any foreign force to carry out an operation on its territory.
“For decades, Pakistan has been assisting Afghanistan in every situation. Afghan leadership, however, has always defamed Pakistan.”
He said that Afghan refugees had been given unprecedented freedom in Pakistan and that Afghanistan should “think of rehabilitating those refugees back in their country.”
To a question about the Afghan reservations on CPEC, the prime minister said that Afghan goods are allowed to go to India and the sea route was also available for transit trade. “However, the bilateral issues surrounding the project could be resolved through dialogue — not statements,” he concluded.
To a question about the dissenting parliamentarians, he said they had been elected from the PML-N platform and they should raise their issues in the party meetings. If their issues were so serious and unsolvable, they should resign and contest election from any other party’s platform, he maintained.
To a question about Nawaz Sharif’s plan to appear before Accountability Court, he said he had been appearing before the courts and had sought exemption. However, he questioned as why this case was being heard in so haste. He said such things with no precedents created doubts particularly in the cases having political sensitivity. He said, in the case of PPP’s Dr Asim, even charges could not be framed in one and a half years.
To a question whether the incumbent government would bring Pervez Musharraf back, the prime minister said he was removed from the Exit Control List on court orders and the government would take action if the court orders so.
Prime Minister Abbasi said after Donald Trump’s policy statement, Pakistan had adopted a clear stance that they had been effectively fighting war against terrorism and no one wanted peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan.