February 04, 2018

Imprison Musharraf like Nehal to prove writ, freedom, Ahsan asks SC

MULTAN: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said the court’s authority and independence would be established when it jails former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf for contempt just like it did in the case of PML-N leader Nehal Hashmi. Ahsan was commenting on the sentencing of Nehal and the contempt of court notices issued to two other PML-N leaders Talal Chaudhry and Daniyal Aziz on Saturday.

Talking to journalists during the wedding ceremony of senior politician Javed Hashmi’s daughter, Ahsan said Musharraf has committed the biggest contempt of the court. Ahsan said Musharraf was the prime accused of contempt of court as he violated the Constitution, locked up judges, dragged the chief justice on the road while pulling his hair, locking up his children and stopping their supply of medicines. The court should treat Musharraf in a way similar to Talal and Daniyal, and put him in prison like Nehal, he added. “If the court is unable to summon Musharraf, serving contempt notices to political workers is not going to reinforce its authority,” he remarked.

The interior minister said the entire world expressed reservations over the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif. “If commenting on this judgment is contempt of court then masses would commit that contempt at each public meeting in the coming days,” he said. “I do not know anyone from Gwadar to Karachi who thinks that the decision taken against Nawaz was based on justice,” the federal minister said. He rejected the reports of differences in the PML-N over the nomination of Shahbaz Sharif as the next prime minister. “Nawaz Sharif is our leader and we accept his decisions,” he said.

The removal of Nawaz had shocked investors who had started leaving the country, he said. “If the Supreme Courts becomes controversial among the eyes of masses, it would not serve the country’s interest,” Ahsan said and warned that economic growth stopped in the wake of the Supreme Court's disqualification. He said Pakistan had become an emerging economy in Nawaz’s tenure, adding the multi-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor was merely a piece of paper till July 2013 and was finalised by the former prime minister during his visit to China. Responding to a query, he said efforts are being made to arrest SSP Rao Anwar and the government prevented his escape from the country.

Meanwhile, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, who also attended the wedding, said the current situation has created a rift among institutions and warned there would be no stability even after the elections, if the confrontation did not come to an end. He said they did not want to criticise the judiciary and the court's verdict should be honoured at all levels no matter it was right or wrong.

Saad told journalists that the person, who moved the court instead of settling political affairs in a political manner, is responsible for the current disorder. He said the Charter of Democracy had not been implemented in true letter and spirit. Criticising Dr Shahid Masood, Saad said he is a blot on the face of journalism and the journalists involved in creating differences among political parties would not be able to achieve their desired goals.


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