Kakar says law will take its course on Nawaz, Imran

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LONDON/ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has said that the decisions regarding PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s return and the participation of PTI Chairman Imran Khan in the election will be taken according to the law.

Talking to the media in London on Tuesday, Kakar said that the caretaker government would take steps according to the law on Nawaz’s return to Pakistan as well as examine the status of court permission while the opinion of the Ministry of Law would also be sought in this matter.

He clarified that the caretaker government was not affiliated with any political party, saying: “We are working according to the constitutional and legal framework and do not want to give the impression that we are against any political party or group.”

The interim premier said that what he had said about the PTI chairman regarding the elections was twisted and unfortunately people were given the wrong impression. “The law will decide whether Imran Khan will participate in the election or not.”

The caretaker PM said that all these matters were legal and not political. “It is not possible for the deputy commissioner to lock someone up and say that you cannot participate in the election … I cannot change the law and I have no authority to do that.”

He said that my visit to London should not be given a political colour because “I did not have any contact or meeting with any political party”, but there were meetings with businessmen, one of whom had shown interest in investing billions of dollars in Pakistan.

Kakar said that there was no deal or slack with anyone, in fact the media ran such news to satisfy its hunger. “If I myself had been involved in the May 9 incident, I would have wanted punishment for myself.”

He said that the health minister informed him about people losing their vision in Punjab, adding that the injection had been removed from many medical stores and those who were responsible were being identified.

He said that this injection was for another disease which was also used for diabetic patients, voring that those who were involved in the incident would be punished.

To a question, Kakar said that the decision of privatisation was not of the International Monetary Fund, but it was taken to remove the deficit of the institutions because there was fear that the country would go bankrupt while providing subsidies to these institutions. “The process of privatization of two institutions will be completed.”

Separately, the caretaker government issued a rejoinder to recent reports regarding comments made by the interim prime minister during an interview with The Associated Press (AP), expressing its disappointment that some media outlets had misinterpreted the premier’s statements to create the false impression that certain individuals or political parties would be barred from participating in the upcoming general elections.

The government’s statement emphasised the importance of equal rights for all political parties to participate in general elections while also clarifying the prime minister’s remarks on legal proceedings.

In the rejoinder, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting released the original text from the AP interview to set the record straight.

It highlighted Prime Minister Kakar’s intention, which was to underscore that while political participation in elections was a fundamental right, legal action for criminal activities was a separate matter.

In his interview, Prime Minister Kakar stated, “We are not pursuing anyone on a personal vendetta. But yes, we will ensure that the law is appropriate. Anyone, be it Imran Khan or any other politician who violates, in terms of their political behaviour, the laws of the country, then the restoration of the law has to be ensured. We cannot equate that with … political discrimination.”

The prime minister also mentioned the importance of holding fair elections, even if some members of a particular party were facing legal charges for unlawful activities such as vandalism and arson, referring to the incidents following Imran Khan’s initial arrest in May.

Kakar reassured that those members of Imran’s party who had not engaged in unlawful activities would be allowed to participate in the political process and the elections.

The Ministry of Information reiterated that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its leaders were entitled to participate in the elections just like any other political party. It affirmed that there were no obstacles preventing the PTI or its leaders from contesting the elections.

Further, the ministry emphasised the principle of equality before the law, emphasising that the legal process would proceed as necessary for anyone currently facing criminal cases. It stressed the independence of the courts and the caretaker government’s commitment to not exert any influence on judicial proceedings.

The statement also underscored citizens’ constitutional right to seek relief from higher judicial forums if they were aggrieved by any order or ruling of a statutory or judicial body.

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