OKARA/ISLAMABAD -  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Saturday November 3 case was not that of an individual but the state and the constitution were the real petitioners in it.

“Since the matter is sub-judice, so any comment from my side may be unfair. However, other than case’s merit, I do say that the real petitioners in this case are the state and the constitution of Pakistan.”

Talking to a private television channel in Islamabad, Nawaz said it was for the court to decide whether or not the state of Pakistan was insulted on Nov 3, 2007. The court would also have to decide if abrogation of constitution fell in the purview of Article 6 or not, he added.

At this critical juncture of the history, it should be ascertained whether “we are a civilised democratic state having our own constitution, law and judicial system... If every citizen is equal before law, he should also be answerable to the court. It is up to the court to decide whether he or she is innocent or guilty,” the PM added.

Latter in the day, addressing a function in connection with Youth Business Loans in Okara‚ the prime minister expressed the hope that this scheme would make the youth financially self-reliant. He said this programme will help in alleviating poverty and creating job opportunities.

The Prime Minister said that he is fully convinced that the youth would play their due role in the country as they have the spirit‚ resolve and determination to put the country on road to prosperity. He said the government has fulfilled its election promise by launching this scheme for the youth.

Mr Nawaz Sharif said youth belonging to minorities should also get benefit from this scheme as there were equal opportunities for them. He said the young generation belonging to all parts of the country is applying for loans. Young women in large number are also benefiting from the scheme‚ which will bring prosperity to their families, he added.

PM Nawaz said conditions for the issuance of loans have now been relaxed. He said transparency is being ensured in every aspect of this scheme. On the occasion, male and female youth applicants apprised the prime minister about their plans of the loan utilisation and for initiating their own businesses.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar‚ Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) head Munir Kamal‚ elected public representatives and notables were also present on the occasion.