Civil-military relations are evolving: PM

LONDON – Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi remarked that civil-military relations in Pakistan are evolving, reported a private TV channel.

Speaking at London School of Economics on Saturday, Prime Minister Abbasi said “It is nothing to be worried about. It’s an evolving relation in every democracy”. Abbasi’s talk was a part of LSE Future of Pakistan Conference.

On Supreme Court’s disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Khaqan said that “judiciary recently took a step, it removed the sitting prime minister. We accepted the verdict, the prime minister left office.”

He added, “however we have left it to history to judge whether history accepts judgement or not.” However, majority of the people were not happy with the verdict, he claimed.

One of the members of the audience questioned the PM regarding Pakistan’s relations with India. On the matter, PM said that the relations between the two countries cannot improve till the Kashmir issue is resolved. “Talks are the only way forward, without talks no quantum change is possible,” he added.

Weighing in on the narrative surrounding ‘independent Kashmir’, Abbasi remarked that “the idea is often floated around but has no reality.”

There is no support for the independent Kashmir demand, he claimed. “The people of Kashmir should be given the right to self-determination.”

Speaking about the tenure of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, he remarked that all that institutions have improved since 2013. “A majority of loans have been spent on improving country’s infrastructure,” he said, adding “we are taking steps to control Pakistan’s deficit.”

“Right now, our focus is on ensuring that the government completes its tenure and we transition to free and fair general elections. No government in Pakistan had completed its tenure till 2008 government. That government was performing poorly but still completed its tenure.”

Pakistan is perhaps the most exciting country in terms of its politics. “We have had many coups, wars, turmoil…. It has been a real challenge to run the country,” he said. “There is never a dull moment in Pakistan’s politics.”

There is significant level of political instability but “we are trying to counter the challenges.” Pakistan’s most positive aspect is that its people believe in democracy, he added.


INP adds: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi met with Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and held discussions on important political matters here on Saturday.

According to a report, the chief minister extended his London stay to hold the meeting.

The prime minister arrived here on Friday afternoon to attend “Future of Pakistan 2017” conference where he will make a keynote speech on the country, while Shehbaz was in London to attend the high-level party meeting held last Sunday.

The high-level huddle of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in London decided on Monday that if victorious in next year’s general elections, Shehbaz will be the party’s prime ministerial candidate.


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