Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Sunday said that those people who were involved in the attacks on military installations must not go unpunished. In an interview with a private news channel, the prime minister referred to the May 9 incidents in the country, saying that if the people attack an institution which was responsible for saving the country from anarchy, they should be tried in courts as per the law.
On the government’s appeal against the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down military trials of civilians, he said it was quite justified that if anybody attacked any military installation, he or she must be tried in military courts. The prime minister said the caretaker government did not put former prime minister Imran Khan behind bars.
He strongly debunked the notion of poisoning the PTI chairman in jail, saying that such baseless allegations showed irresponsible attitude of the PTI leaders and supporters. He said it was the government’s legal responsibility to provide the required facilities to the PTI leaders in jail. "Imran Khan is quite safe and in good health," he added.
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The prime minister also dispelled the impression that some parties were being given undue favour and some were being sidelined, saying all the political parties, including the PTI and the PPP, were engaged in their election campaign across the country. Dispelling the impression that a certain political party was being favoured by the caretakers, he said the political parties normally tried to attract their voters in different ways and such allegations might be their tactics.
The prime minister said elections were going to be held in a transparent way, however, if someone questioned the transparency of the election, he or she could consult relevant forums, including courts. On the Afghanistan issue, he said the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was operating from the Afghan soil.
He said even a single Pakistani citizen’s life was precious to him and the state was also constitutionally bound to protect its citizens.
He said there had been a lot of terrorist activities by the TTP from across the border. To a question as to why Pakistan was not initiating the negotiation process with the TTP, the prime minister said if the TTP really wanted to go to the table with Pakistan, they would have to put down their arms first.
He said all Afghans, irrespective of creed and caste, were equally important for Pakistan as both nations had centuries-old cultural and religious relations. However, he said the state would show zero tolerance for those who engaged in terrorist activities in the country.
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On the repatriation of Afghan refugees, PM Kakar maintained it was a difficult decision, however, he made it clear that only illegally registered Afghans were asked to leave the country. He, however, clarified that the government had asked those Afghans who were living in Pakistan without legal documents to repatriate to their country and then come back with legal documents so that they could live in Pakistan legally and respectfully.
With respect to the Palestine issue, the prime minister said during the special meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held recently in Saudi Arabia, all the Muslim leaders were unanimous to force the international powers to ensure a ceasefire and open human corridor in Gaza and the West Bank.
To a question regarding progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), PM Kakar said significant work had been done during three months of the caretakers. He said China was going for the second phase of its grand Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of which Pakistan was an important part.
China, he said, wanted that there should be more coordination and cooperation in this regard and they wanted Pakistan to grab maximum benefit from this opportunity. On the security of Chinese citizens in Pakistan, the prime minister expressed the government’s firm resolve to curb all kinds of violence in the country. "Our security forces have full capacity to handle violence," the prime minister maintained.