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May 16, 2018

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‘Parliament can constitute commission if so desired’

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Tuesday accusing former premier Nawaz Sharif, who made Pakistan a nuclear power while facing all the international pressure, of treason was totally unacceptable.

“Unfortunately, we are following misinterpretation by the Indian media about an interview given by Nawaz Sharif,” the prime minister said while responding to points of order raised by Shah Mehmood Qureshi of the PTI and other opposition members who took a strong exception to the contents of the interview of Nawaz Sharif with regard to the Mumbai attacks.

The prime minister said if that impression was derived from the interview that people were deliberately sent to India from Pakistan, then it had nothing to do with reality. “The statement in question does not stand alone, rather it is part of an interview which covers many issues,” he said.

He told the House that the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting was convened on Monday to reject an impression created by misreporting of Nawaz Sharif’s interview by the Indian media. “It is unfortunate that the politicians and media are towing the impression given by the Indian media,” he regretted.

Prime Minister Abbasi pointed out that one sentence regarding the non-state actors and terrorists taken from the interview was misinterpreted by the Indian media and the same was being fanned for political motives.

“Should we become their tool and allow us to be used by Indian media?” he questioned. The premier said there was nothing new in what was stated by Nawaz Sharif, explaining that the same was stated by Pervez Musharraf,Rehman Malik, Imran Khan, Generals Pasha and Asad Durrani in the past.

“I am sure that all those who are criticising Nawaz Sharif in the House have not read the interview in the newspaper,” he said. The prime minister categorically stated that it was consistent policy of the Pakistan government that soil of Pakistan would not allowed to be used to carry out attacks in any other country. “The same policy was also followed by the PPP and Musharraf governments and other governments in the past,” he said.

He said if the opposition wants to take forward the issue, then he would have no objection if the parliament constitutes a commission to find out the truth. Following the speech of the prime minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi asked the leader of the House whether he had decided to take any action as to why Nawaz Sharif rejected the declaration of the NSC. He also questioned that why no action was taken against the concerned person for misreporting in the newspaper.

The opposition members rejected the statement of the prime minister while raising the slogans of ‘shame! shame!’. The opposition members started interfering when the prime minister was speaking on the floor of the House. “Let them speak if they are feeling cramps in their abdomens,” the prime minister said when Dr Shireen Mazari attempted to interrupt the speech.

The parliamentarians from the opposition also raised slogan ‘Modi Ka Jo Yar Hey, Ghaddar (traitor) Hey’. On that, the prime minister said the opposition instead of its misbehaviour should have the courage to listen.

Ejaz Jhakrani on behalf of the opposition announced to stage a token walkout against the remarks of the prime minister. Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq expunged the prime minister’s remarks.

“I expunge the remarks ‘cramps in abdomen’ if used for parliamentarians,” he said. Earlier, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the statement of Nawaz Sharif would take Pakistan from the ‘grey list’ of FATF to the ‘black list’.

Qureshi questioned why Nawaz Sharif gave such a statement on Mumbai incident after bringing a journalist, who is already controversial due to the DawnLeaks issue, in protocol to the Multan airport. He said the statement also forced the prime minister to convene the NSC meeting, but Nawaz Sharif rejected its declaration in total, which created further confusion.

“The gesture of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz reflect that the statement was issued intentionally,” he said, observing that Nawaz Sharif’s allied parties were also supporting his statement. He also pointed out as to why Shahbaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan were giving explanations if the media twisted Nawaz Sharif’s statement.

Qureshi demanded that Nawaz Sharif should apologise to the nation otherwise a treason case should be registered against him and his name be put on the Exit Control List (ECL). The PTI leader also asked the PML-N as a party to decide whether it was standing with Nawaz Sharif or with Pakistan. He said Pakistan and the Pakistani nation gave numerous sacrifices in the war against terrorism but the world did not acknowledge the same.

“But it does not mean that we cannot present our narrative,” he said. Qureshi also questioned whether the prime minister sought any explanation from Nawaz Sharif on his statement.

PPP member Shazia Marri said the statement was given intentionally. She said the political leadership would not allow putting the country’s security at sake only to save his political career.

Sahibzada Tariqullah of the JI demanded an investigation into the statement given by Nawaz Sharif. He said Nawaz himself demanded the constitution of a commission when Ajmal Qasab was arrested from Nepal.

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