Pakistan seeks apology from US over controversial Trump’s tweet

Pakistan seeks apology from US over controversial Trump’s tweet

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Saturday said the US President Donald Trump should retract his tweet about Pakistan and tender an apology.

In a TV programme, he said after the US leadership tweet, the Government of Pakistan very strongly responded to it. On different forums, such tweets were declared as foolish, he added.

To another question, the prime minister said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan should tender an apology for his disparaging remarks against the Parliament.

He said the Constitution enshrined right to expression and nobody could be deprived of this right but whatever Imran Khan said about the parliament was incorrect.

The prime minister said, on the other hand, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had expressed his opinion about a judicial verdict which was his constitutional right but he never abused any institution.

He said the democratic system had evolved in other countries and in Pakistan; it was still growing in which different institutions had their specific roles and rights. ‘If a democratic process in Pakistan had continued, certain things would not have surfaced’.

Nawaz Sharif never spoke of unconstitutional things. Under the Constitution, the right to association had been the fundamental right, he added.

He said the courts had the discretion to decide a case. The verdict against former prime minister was implemented but the people did not accept, neither history would accept it.

There were different judicial cases which had not been accepted, he said and referred to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s case. Three judges in Bhutto’s case had conceded that they announced the judgment under pressure.

He said the right to appeal had not been granted in Panama case, however, the verdict in the instant case would not become a precedent and the debate over it would continue.

About Zainab’s case, the prime minister said, they were cognizant of the pains and anger felt by the people in Kasur but there was no law in the country which could permit public hanging.

No one had the right to exceed the law and Constitution, he said, adding the parliament was the only forum which could legislate.

About criticism against the government, the prime minister said it was not a new thing as the executive had always been a punching bag of opponents.

Zainab’s case was a painful incident, but unfortunately the politicians had politicised a criminal issue, he regretted. He said he was satisfied with the Punjab government’s progress to investigate the case. The efforts were underway to nab the culprit and the government was hopeful to bring the criminal to justice.

He said in the developed countries like the US and UK, people involved in such criminal cases had also evaded their arrests for decades despite efforts and availability of resources.

The prime minister said the police force had to deal with a host of issues as well, like dharna, law and order and so on. Provincial issues had always prompted provincial governments’ response which was clearly defined by the Constitution and the federal government had nothing to do with it, he added.

About the change in Balochistan government, he said in politics, grievances often cropped up but there was a democratic mechanism to address them at the provincial or the central levels.

He said he did not deny the democratic right of the elected members of the provincial assembly but what they did, would have negative impacts.

About privatization of national carrier Pakistan International Airlines, the prime minister said this process had been underway since 2002. Rs 450 billion PIA losses were the whopping one, he said.

He said it was his responsibility to resolve the issue in which the rights of the employees should be protected. ‘If his government could not complete the process, the next government would continue the process as the country could not afford such losses, he said.

To a question about Indian threats, the prime minister said the indigenous struggle for freedom in the Indian occupied Kashmir had baffled India and it was trying to divert world attention from its gross human rights violations.

He said dialogue process with the neighbouring country was not possible till resolution of the core issues, adding the dialogue should be based on sincerity and not under any duress.

About the repatriation of Afghan refugees, the prime minister said Pakistan had hosted three million refugees and only bore the brunt of the Afghan issue. The world and Afghanistan must appreciate it, he stressed.

He reiterated that Pakistan could not be blamed for attacks inside Afghanistan. The rehabilitation of Afghanistan refugees was linked with the issues inside Afghanistan which should be resolved earnestly.

“The fencing of Pak-Afghan border will continue. War is no solution to Afghan issue. The issue can be resolved through dialogue and Afghan-owned and Afghan-led process. Pakistan and other countries can act as facilitators,” he added. - APP