PM hopeful about consensus on caretaker prime minister

ISLAMABAD (APP) – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said that he was hopeful that all the political parties would select the caretaker prime minister with consensus.

“The caretaker prime minister should be such a person, who remains undisputed and non-controversial, and whose past is clear,” he said in an interview with a private television channel.

To a question, the prime minister said he had no favourite for the slot.

To another question, he said there was no logic in delaying the upcoming elections as any holdup in that regard would be dangerous for Pakistan.

The prime minister, while lashing out at those who allegedly sold or bought votes in the recent election of Senate chairman and deputy chairman, said if the curse was not ended then such people {horse-traders] would be sitting in the parliament.

To a question, the prime minister said he would withdraw his statement regarding horse-trading in the election of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and deputy chairman if Pakistan People’s Party co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan declared on oath that they did not use money in the election.

He said a ruling party, having majority in the Senate, offered the slot of Senate chairman to the opposition party’s candidate but they refused. Had it happened it would have strengthened democracy in the country, the prime minister added.

Prime Minister Abbasi, to a question about any way out of discouraging the practice in future, said seats in the Senate should be allocated according to the party’s position in the provincial assemblies. It would increase stature of the parliament and also discourage all those who were using money in the Senate polls, he added.

The prime minister said he had asked the law ministry to prepare a draft summary for an amendment in that regard and if all the political parties were agreed on it then such an amendment could be brought in the parliament.

The prime minister while responding to a question about his recent meeting with Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, said there was nothing unconstitutional or illegal in the meeting where he and the chief justice put across their own point of views and talked on all issues openly.

He said his meeting with the CJP was not secret and finding solution of problems could not be termed as tension. “Such kinds of meetings will strengthen democracy in the country, and if necessary he will meet the CJP again,” the prime minister added.

He said the judiciary should use its powers judicially. The past mistakes of the judiciary had damaged its credibility. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” the prime minister added.

He said powers of judiciary, executive and legislature were clearly defined in the Constitution and all should work within their limits.

To a question, Prime Minister Abbasi said legislation was the right job of the Parliament and no one could snatch that right from it.

To another question, he said neither he nor former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had any tension with the institutions. He, however, said “We don’t expect any justice from the accountability court.”

To another query, the prime minister said former dictator Pervez Musharraf had no place in Pakistani politics and if he had the courage he should come and face the cases.

About the US pressure, he said Pakistan had given a lot of sacrifices in the war against terrorism. “We have done more than our part,” he added.