Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday blamed the previous PML-N government for “messing up” the case of convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, adding that the present regime was taking steps to implement the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) verdict on the matter.
“India doesn’t want consular access to Jadhav, but only seeks to drag Pakistan to the ICJ once again,” he told reporters after laying the foundation stone of Al-Badar Park in Shah Rukn-e-Alam Colony, Multan.
In response to a question about the legislation related to the plea against the spy's sentence, the minister said the government was taking measures on the ICJ’s advice.
Last month, the state’s top law officer told the Islamabad High Court that New Delhi had rejected
Islamabad’s proposal to appoint a counsel for the spy, taking the stance that India’s sovereignty would stand violated if an Indian citizen was put on trial in a Pakistani court.
Qureshi, who is also a senior PTI leader, said the government did not believe in retaliation, but in clear and transparent accountability.
"We don't believe in unnecessarily subjecting someone to humiliation or accountability," he said, adding that "those going through accountability will be given the opportunity to clarify."
However, the minister made it clear that Prime Minister Imran Khan would not hand out an NRO (amenity in corruption cases) or sign a deal for personal gains.
Commenting on PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's reaction on arrest of party leader Khursheed Shah's son Furrakh Shah, Qureshi said everybody had the right to a fair trial. “However, nobody is allowed to create obstacles in the accountability process,” he added.
Responding to opposition's criticism on the budget, he said, the government did not intend to bring a mini-budget. [PML-N leader] Ahsan Iqbal should first review the budget book,” he added.
On the ongoing controversy about whether the government had decided to give airbases to the US in the wake of its troops' pullout from Afghanistan, Qureshi reiterated that Pakistan had no such plans.
The minister said Pakistan would be glad to witness development in underdeveloped countries.
"China has no threats from the projects pertaining to investment in these countries," he added.
"China is working on CPEC [China-Pakistan Economic Corridor] project and it will continue to do so. If the G7 countries want to initiate the same sort of projects, it will be a good competition.”
According to the minister, coordination committees have been formed in all districts of Punjab that will monitor development projects.
He said Saudi government had decided to allow a limited number of locals and some other citizens hailing from countries and already present in the kingdom to perform Hajj.
He added that there were different variants of coronavirus in the world and this step by the Saudi authorities would surely help in preventing its spread.
On the Al-Badar Park, the minister said it would be an outstanding recreational facility for the locals.
“The Parks and Horticulture Authority has been directed to plant trees in the park.”
(With input from APP)