LAHORE - Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Ashtar Ausaf Ali said on Monday the president had the powers to dissolve the assemblies and pardon any convict, but these were subject to advice of the prime minister and the cabinet.

He expressed these views while talking to reporters at sub-office of the attorney general at Lahore High Court on possibility of dissolution of assemblies and presidential pardon for disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He dispelled the impression that Nawaz Sharif was running affairs as a premier, saying that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was fully powerful and did not take dictation from anyone. Cabinet makes all decisions and the PM did not have additional powers, he added.

Ali said that it was normal practice in democratic countries that party heads chair cabinet meetings. He raised a question that whether KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah did not attend meetings chaired by Imran Khan and Asif Ali Zardari, respectively.

The AGP said there was no justification for Islamabad sit-in by a religious group since the provision of Khatam-i-Nabuwwat declaration had already been restored. He said there was no need for resignations of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Law Minister Zahid Hamid. He said the finance minister had been suffering from cardiac problem therefore he was unable to travel back to the country.

Answering a question about possibility of early election, Ali termed the rumours of early elections as political stunts. He said these rumours were spread by politicians who had been preparing for the next general elections.

To a query about Indian spy Kalbhushan Jadhav, the AGP said that Pakistan would file its reply to the International Court of Justice at the next date of hearing, Dec 13. Pakistan would also take up Indian atrocities in Held-Kashmir with the ICJ. He said Jadhav had been allowed to meet his wife and mother on the basis of Islamic teachings and humanity. He pointed out that there had been a sense of anxiety in China over delay in several projects of the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Delay in Orange Line project caused huge loss to the national exchequer and increased the project’s cost manifolds, he added.