Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Tuesday the actual purpose of the government’s electoral reforms was to introduce a presidential form of government instead of the current parliamentary system.
Talking to the media outside the accountability court, Abbasi said that the process of accountability was going on and the PML-N leaders appear in court every time. He stressed that the people must know which opposition leaders faced the cases and on what charges.
Abbasi opposed the government’s proposal for electoral reforms. “The proposed reforms are intended to steal the future elections. All this is an attempt to abolish the parliamentary system and bring in a presidential one,” he said.
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“Pakistan can only be run on parliamentary system. Those supporting the presidential form of government are not the well-wishers of the country, he said. “When our country broke up [in 1971], it was because of the presidential system,” he added. “Stop stealing elections, everything will be fine.”
Abbasi said that all cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) were false. “There is nothing in the cases,” he said, adding that when the investigators find nothing they bring the benami charges or the cases about assets or money laundering.
When asked about the National Assembly session, he said that when it comes to budget, chaos was created inside the assembly and the speaker remained a silent spectator. “When we talk about the people, we are attacked with books and expletives,” he added.
About his use of word ‘lie’ for the budget, which angered the finance minister, Abbasi said withdraw the word ‘lie’ and instead “use the word misrepresentation”. He added that in his one-and-a-half-hour speech, the finance minister did not speak about providing relief to the poor.
“Is there any such word in the budget, that says there will be a reduction in the price of food items,” Abbasi asked. “The government has given up trying to provide relief to the masses,” the former prime minister added.
Responding to a question, he said that Shahbaz Sharif was the PML-N president, he was the senior vice president and Maryam Nawaz was the vice president. “Whenever the party needs Shahbaz Sharif speaks but the important thing is our narrative,” he added.