'PTI press release': Shehbaz Sharif lambasts Prez Alvi over his ‘partisan attitude’

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Islamabad: Bringing Dr Arif Alvi’s “partisan attitude” on record, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday informed the President that his letter regarding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa read like a press release from Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

He noted that the letter is “blatantly partisan in nature” and supports PTI’s “one-sided and anti-government” views, local media reported.

Earlier on Friday, the Pakistani president had asked Sharif to direct federal and provincial authorities to assist the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in holding elections in both the provinces in accordance with the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s orders to “avoid further complications”, Dawn reported.

Further, Alvi mentioned the “use of disproportionate force” by Pakistani authorities against politicians, political workers, and journalists.

The electoral body had recently postponed elections in Punjab, which was initially scheduled to be held on April 30, citing security reasons.

The president had also mentioned that all executive authorities of the federal and provincial governments should be directed to refrain from abuse of human rights, Geo News reported.

Shehbaz Sharif’s reply

In his reply on Sunday, Shehbaz Sharif wrote, “I am constrained to express, at the outset, my disappointment at the blatantly partisan nature of your letter, which parts reads like a press release of the Opposition political party i.e. the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) whose one-sided, anti-government views you continue to openly espouse, notwithstanding your constitutional oath/ office of President.”

Sharif further highlighted that on numerous occasions the president violated his oath including the order of the dissolution of the National Assembly on April 3 last year and failure to discharge his constitutional duty upon Sharif’s election as the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

He added, “Despite the foregoing and several other instances, where you actively worked towards undermining a constitutionally elected government, I have made all-out efforts to maintain a good working relationship with you. However, the contents of your letter, its tone, and language have compelled me to respond to it…”

Noting that the due process under articles 4 and 10A of the Constitution of Pakistan was being afforded to all, Sharif stated that actions taken by the law enforcement agencies were being done in accordance with the law. “Regrettably and ostensibly due to your party allegiance, you have failed to note the sheer isolation of laws, contumacious disregard of court orders, attacking the law enforcement agencies, damaging public property, attempts to create chaos, civil and political unrest, and in short, to bring the country to the brink of economic default and civil war by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-lnsaf (PTI),” he wrote.

“Mr President, what has really ‘tarnished the image of Pakistan in the international community and is casting negative repercussions on the future of democracy and state of human rights in Pakistan’ is the complete disregard of the laws and the Constitution by the PTI,” he added.

Imran Khan’s ‘aggressive, rather militant, attitude’ towards court orders

The Pakistani president has not, on any occasion, uttered a single word regarding the conduct of Imran Khan on his actions in response to lawfully issued court orders for his appearance in criminal proceedings, said Sharif, adding, “May I also add, never in our history have we ever witnessed such aggressive, rather militant, attitude of a political order in complete defiance of court orders.”

Also, Sharif stated that the president never raised voice or expressed concerns “in the manner that you have in your letter, in the past while the PTI was in power.”

Detailing the clampdown on media by the Imran Khan-led government previously, Sharif stated that the National Commission for Human Rights was kept “dysfunctional” during PTI’s tenure.

“There are several reports of international human rights organisations, which reflect poorly on the track record of the previous government on severe violations of human rights and the fundamental rights of the citizens of Pakistan. All of this, unfortunately, escaped your attention,” he wrote.

Sharif govt ‘fully aware’ of its duties

In conclusion, Shehbaz Sharif stated that he was “fully aware” of his duties as the Prime Minister, adding that his government was fully committed to preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution, Dawn reported.

“However, our government is also determined to ensure that no one is allowed to violate the law, create unrest and attempt to cause irreparable harm to the state of Pakistan…. I want to further assure you that our government will thwart any effort to undermine the constitutionally elected government,” the letter read.

(With inputs from agencies)

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'PTI press release': Shehbaz Sharif lambasts Prez Alvi over his ‘partisan attitude’
'PTI press release': Shehbaz Sharif lambasts Prez Alvi over his ‘partisan attitude’
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