Abbasi takes aim at independence of Pakistan’s courts, saying decision made by the judiciary on July 28 was not accepted by the masses
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has ruled out the possibility of dissolving the National Assembly prematurely under any pressure, saying general elections would be held in July this year as scheduled.
Addressing journalists in the capital on Tuesday, he said voters had given a mandate to his Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) party and the Assembly would not be dissolved even a second before the due time.
He said he was the competent authority to dissolve the assembly, adding he would only do so if his party asked him to.
The PM said he was confident the ruling party would win 2018 elections on the basis of its performance.
He said the PML-N government implemented its developmental agenda including initiation of numerous projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Abbasi said the first Industrial Zone at Gwadar had been completed and work on Express Bay was underway.
He said there was continued engagement with the United States including track-two diplomacy. He said Pakistan has made it repeatedly clear that there is no room to do more.
The PM said Pakistan is engaged in the war against terror for its own security and interests.
He further said the judiciary and media were not free in Pakistan as the decision made by the judiciary on July 28 was not accepted by the masses. Despite this, he added, Nawaz Sharif would lead the next political and election campaign.
Quoting a statement by the director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), he said that DG also mentioned that holding elections was not the task of the army.
He said the character of each judge must be open to all before appointment.
In the past, he said, some judges were appointed who were not capable for this slot.
Abbasi said discussions were mandatory for appointing judges in Pakistan because, once a judge was appointed, he would remain in that seat until retirement.
He added history would not accept the July 28 verdict.
He said the people chose Nawaz Sharif in the 2013 elections but the judiciary declared him as disqualified. To another question, he said Pakistan-US relations stretched over seventy years, adding these ties would not terminate soon.