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Parliament role needs to be made more effective for selection of judges: Nawaz Shraif

08 May, 2018

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ISLAMABAD/JHELUM: Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would change the procedure for appointment of judges if re-elected to power following the upcoming general elections.

“Parliament’s role needs to be made more effective a new system for selection of judges will definitely be implemented,” he said while talking to reporters outside an accountability court in Islamabad and later addressing a rally in Jhelum, adding that his party will also work on changing the workings of the Supreme Judicial Council.

Condemning the attack on Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Nawaz said it is a matter of concern that the situation has escalated to such an extent. “An attack on the country’s interior minister is not an ordinary thing. I’m extremely concerned that the issue has reached to such an extent,” he said.

Referring to the earlier distribution of Rs 1,000 by Director-General of Punjab Rangers Major General Azhar Naveed Hayat Khan among Tehreek-e-Labbaik protesters after the Faizabad sit-in, Nawaz questioned the reasoning behind the payment and said, “This is what happens when Rs 1,000 are distributed among such people.” “I would like to know – and not just I, but many people would like to know – why was the money distributed, and with what motive? This question remains, and one day the reality will come to light. If this matter can be resolved now, then it should be resolved now,” he said.

Hinting yet again at ‘lifetime imprisonment’ on the cards for him, deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif said “all-out efforts are underway to send me behind bars.” “My competitors aren’t my immediate political opponents [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan People’s Party] rather the ‘shadow forces’ they take dictation from.”

Nawaz said he appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) 62 times despite lack of evidence against him. “How long these cases would drag on as the first extension of the six-month deadline has now passed as well,” he wondered.

He regretted that had the allegations against him been legitimate, the cases would have reached their conclusion in eight weeks instead of eight months. He lamented that corruption cases against PPP members have been in the cold storage for years while the ones against him are being rushed without any headway.

The former premier pleaded for the cases to be taken back as “there is nothing in them.” He also claimed that the witnesses brought by the prosecution failed to provide anything substantial against him and his family with regard to the charges.

Emphasising that the country’s progress lies in the respect of vote, the PML-N supremo urged the people to respect vote while prompting others to pay it the due respect too. “We need to end this play under which Pakistan’s vote hasn’t ever been respected in 70 years of the country’s creation. PML-N will not repeat history. Pakistan will become the Asian Tiger … 2018 polls will turn into a referendum.”

Calling PTI chief Imran Khan a ‘coward’, Nawaz challenged him to stop hiding behind the ‘unseen forces’. Criticising PPP co-chairperson Zardari on his recent announcement of possible alliance with the PTI, he mockingly said the PPP chief is not only shaking hands with PTI chief but is also planning a ‘heart-to-heart’ with him.

Talking about the recent defections in the party, Nawaz said that the lawmakers were threatened, harassed and even pressurized for changing the loyalties, however, the faithful still stood by the party. He stressed that the statement of Imran Khan regarding the maneuvering in 2013 elections should be investigated. Regarding the possibility of a delay in polls following the botched assassination attempt on Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Nawaz replied that the PML-N will not let general elections be delayed in the country at any cost.

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