Shehbaz Sharif lambasts Pak President for anti-govt views

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told President Arif Alvi on Sunday that his letter regarding the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa elections read like a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) press release which is “blatantly partisan in nature” and supports the Imran Khan-led party’s “one-sided and anti-government” views, the media reported.

The Pakistan Prime Minister, in his letter on Sunday, stated that the President’s letter to him was one-sided and held anti-government views, Geo News reported.

“You openly express anti-government views and your letter was not reflective of the president’s constitutional role and this is what you’re constantly doing,” wrote the Premier, Geo News reported.

He also criticised the president for not commenting on deposed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s failure to appear in courts.

The premier stressed that the incumbent government had ensured that there is “complete freedom of speech and expression, as enshrined under Article 19 of the Constitution”.

While referring to attacks on media persons and journalists, PM Shehbaz Sharif also criticised the former PTI government for keeping the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) dysfunctional for the most part of its tenure.

He also drew the president’s attention towards the political victimisation of opposition lawmakers during the PTI rule, notably the narcotics case, entailing death penalty, against Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah — who was then an MNA — and NAB cases against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Maryam Nawaz, Geo News reported.

“President, the Constitution does not vest any powers in or assigns any functions to the President whereby the President can seek explanation from the Government or the Prime Minister. The only reason I am responding to your letter is because I want to bring your partisan attitude and actions on record and to set the record of our government straight,” he added.

In his letter, the Prime Minister further lambasted the president, saying that he gave the dates for elections at the PTI’s behest.

He added that the president’s decision to give an election date for the KP Assembly was set aside by the apex court.

“You have not raised any concerns on the malafide dissolution of the provincial assemblies of the two provinces, that too at the behest of and to satisfy the ego of the Chairman, PTI,” he continued, Geo News reported.


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