PM constitutes Judicial Commission to probe rigging allegations
ISLAMABAD, Aug 12 (Online): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Tuesday, announced constitution of a Judicial Commission to thoroughly examine the allegations of rigging in the May 2013 general elections.
Addressing the nation over Radio and Television networks on Tuesday night, he said the Federal Government requests the honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan [Justice Nasirul Mulk] to nominate three honourable judges of the Supreme Court for the purpose and give their final opinion on the issue after thorough probe.
He said after this step, there is no justification for any long march, protest or agitation on the issue.
The Prime Minister said nothing more can be done with sincerity in this regard.
He said the decision for constitution of the Commission has been taken after reviewing overall situation of the country and consultations with political leadership.
Felicitating the nation on Independence Day, the Prime Minister stressed for renewing resolve to promote political stability for the sake of progress and development of the country.
He said history bears testimony to the fact that the developed nations achieved their goals because of political stability and continuation of policies.
He regretted that unfortunately Pakistan remained victim of political instability and we had to pay a heavy price for that.
The Prime Minister said it is time to ponder as to why we are moving away from our cherished destination and why the country is not coming out of trap of poverty and backwardness.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the country is on the path of democracy, all state institutions are working in according with the constitution, elected parliament is functional, judiciary is firmly behind to support democracy and constitution and for the first time transfer of power took place from one elected government to the other last year.
Mian Nawaz Sharif said mandate given by the people in the general elections was accepted at every level and we set new democratic traditions and a new culture by accepting mandate of others in KPK and Balochistan.
He said the Federal Government also did not interfere in the affairs of Azad Kashmir. He said all Governments have the opportunity to demonstrate their performance so that the electorate could make a judgement on the basis of their performance in 2018 elections.
The Prime Minister said he would not claim that the present government performed miracle but the fact remains that the country moved forward during the last 14 months. The Government initiated new mega projects, national economy improved, confidence of foreign investors restored, rupee stabilised and exports picked up. He said stock market made new records of business during the last 14 months and due to other steps the country is making headway towards overcoming the challenges and moving forward towards progress and prosperity.
The Prime Minister said the Government has signed agreements to generate 10,400 MW electricity, including launching work on Dasu Dam and deciding to launch Diamir Bhasha Dam. He said both the dams will generate 9000 MW cheap electricity.
Nawaz Sharif said the government is going to start physical work on Karachi-Lahore motorway and 55 billion rupees have been released for procurement of land for this project. He said the construction of Khunjrab-Gwadar corridor will open new avenues of economic progress.
He claimed that speedy mega projects in large number were never launched in the country in our history.
The Prime Minister said on the one hand we have started journey for economic progress, prosperity, socio-economic development and peace but on the other hand unfortunately some elements are out with negative and hollow slogans to protest without any reason.
Nawaz Sharif said when the nation is coming out of backwardness and underdevelopment, the nation of 180 million people has the right to ask these elements the purpose of their long marches and sit-ins. These elements should tell the people what the motive they have behind their politics of agitation.
He questioned is the agitation and long march against the efforts of the government which it is making to resolve energy crisis; is it against the revival of industry; is it against huge increase in foreign exchange reserves; is it against stability in Pakistani currency; is it against unprecedented GDP growth of over four percent; is it against increase of amount for deserving people from 40 to 118 billion rupees; is it against self-employment scheme for youth; is it against corruption free administration of the government or is it against the confidence of international financial institution on the government policies. He said these elements should tell at least one reason for the protest. He said these elements should also tell why they are out to push back the country towards poverty, backwardness and terrorism.
The Prime Minister questioned as to what extent general elections of 2002 and 2008 were fair. He pointed out that they were not allowed to return to country for seven years and PML (N) contested 2002 elections during exile and PML(N) was restricted to about one and half dozen seats. Similarly, he said his and his brother's nomination papers were rejected during 2008 elections but despite that we launched election campaign and played our role in the parliament without complaining about allegations.
Mian Nawaz Sharif said 2013 elections were held under the auspices of an Election Commissioner appointed through consensus. For the first time, caretaker governments were set up as per new amendment in the constitution. Voters list bore photographs of voters and production computerised national identity cards was compulsory for casting of votes. The judiciary allowed appointment of judges as Returning Officers at the instance of those who are levelling allegations of rigging now.
It is pertinent mention here that the prime minister’s speech comes just two days before the launch of massive anti-government marches led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri.
The planned demonstrations, and violent clashes between security forces and PAT supporters, have unnerved Sharif's fledgling civilian government.
The government has blocked roads in parts of Lahore and Islamabad to stop protesters from gathering in the capital, where Section 144 has been imposed. Cellular services were blocked in parts of the federal capital today, and are expected to remain suspended for an indefinite period.