PM felicitates Chinese President on 71st anniversary of establishment of Pak-China diplomatic ties

PM Shehbaz Sharif asked for an inquiry over mishandling at court

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Islamabad: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has congratulated Chinese President Xi Jinping, the governments and the peoples of the two countries on the 71st anniversary of the establishment of Pakistan-China diplomatic relations.

In his message on the occasion, he said China and Pakistan are the names of two brothers.

The Prime Minister said the leadership and peoples of the two countries have nurtured this evergreen tree of friendship over the past 71 years.

The Prime Minister paid rich tributes to all the leaders of both the countries, who made efforts to transform this unmatched friendship into Cooperative Strategic Partnership and the Iron Brothers relationship.

He said no untoward incident, storm in global politics or jealousy could make any dent to this iron bond.

He said our Chinese brothers and sisters were recently attacked outside Karachi University. We salute to these and all others who sacrificed their lives for Pak-China friendship, and express grief and sorrow with their families. The Prime Minister expressed commitment to bring the culprits of the Karachi incident to justice.

Shehbaz Sharif said CPEC provides a strong foundation to economic cooperation, poverty alleviation and connectivity not only for the two countries but for other countries of the region as well. This project is a symbol and guarantee of bright future of the next generations.

He expressed resolve to take this economic bond, cooperation and mutual trust of two iron brothers to new heights. Further adding to this, Prime Minister (PM) Mian Shehbaz Sharif ordered Chief Minister Punjab (CM) Hamza Shehbaz Sharif to hold an inquiry into the disruption caused by security officials after a judge and others complained of being harassed by security officials.

The orders came after the Special Court (Central-I) judge Ijaz Hassan Awan complained his car was intercepted and others were stopped from entering the court premises.

The premier passed the orders as he stood in court for the first time after coming into power on April 9. The judge was hearing the pre-arrest bails of Shehbaz Sharif and Hamza Shehbaz Sharif in the money laundering case of Rs16 billion.

PM Shehbaz and CM Hamza Shehbaz remained in the courtroom for around two and half hours for the proceedings.

During the morning hours, after the arrival of the prime minister at the court premies, that gate was closed by security personnel and litigants, lawyers, court staffers, and journalists were not allowed inside.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Attaullah Tarar, who was along with the PM, said the prime minister was also not able to enter the courtroom until the journalists were allowed. “The PM waited there until the journalists were allowed into the premises,” he said.

During the court proceedings, the judge expressed his dismay over the security personnel intercepting his car and staffers.

Shehbaz took the rostrum and told the court that he was also stopped by the security at the main gate.

“Mr prime minister, you are the prime minister in or outside the courtroom”, the judge remarked. “Who will take action? You have administrative control, it is also your obligation to see things and decide what sort of action may be taken in such a situation”, he furthered.

Upon this, the PM directed CM Punjab to hold an inquiry into “why or who created such a situation at court premises”.

The court also took the Superintendent of Police (SP) Civil Lines, Safdar Raza Kazmi, to task over the conduct adopted by the security officials. SP Safdar Raza ensured the court that such a situation will not arise in the future.

The statement irked the judge who then directed the SP to state in categorical terms what action he intended to take and what had already been done.

While the police official stated that there had been some miscoordination and assured the judge that the police respected the courts, the court nonetheless issued a notice to the SP and directed him to submit a written reply.

Later during the court session, the PM took the rostrum and added “I may be morally weak but I swear to God that I had never been involved in corruption and those allegations levelled against me”.

He argued that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government had failed to prove allegations worth “even a single penny”, he added.

“PTI tried to establish corruption or money laundering charges in the London court but nothing could be proved”

The premier stated that he had “saved public money and protected the national exchequer” but he is being portrayed as a corrupt individual

Earlier on Saturday, sources privy to the development had said the “sudden” decision of the prime minister, who had been skirting the hearings in the case, was taken in the light of counselling given by his lawyer Amjad Pervez.

They added that the decision to face accountability was prompted by the Chief Justice of PakistanUmar Ata Bandial’s suo motu notice of “perceived interference” by “persons in authority” in the investigation and prosecution of criminal matters against government officials.

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