Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday disowned the statements made on the floor of the National Assembly by Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law retired Captain Muhammad Safdar, when he launched into a virulent tirade against Pakistan's persecuted Ahmadi community.
“Neither I nor Mian sahb or the party is responsible for his views”, Abbasi said while talking to DawnNews, adding that “He [Safdar] should not have said what he said. No one in the party would agree with him.”
"Being a parliamentary leader I will take up this issue with him," he maintained.
Abbasi, however, rejected the notion that Capt Safdar's remarks fell into the category of hate speech. "What he [Safdar] said was apparently in the flow of emotions."
“We should stay away from such statements which create unrest in the society,” said Abbasi, while agreeing that being a son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif he should have behaved more responsibly.
Editorial: Capt Safdar’s tirade
'People rejected Sharif's ouster by SC'
The prime minister also said that people of Pakistan have rejected the way in which former premier Nawaz Sharif was ousted by Supreme Court.
Abbasi said that "democracy would flourish but it takes time". He, however, avoided agreeing that Sharif's ouster was a danger to democracy.
"Let history decide on the decision of the ouster of Sharif," he said.
Abbasi said he was carrying forward the policy of the PML-N, in accordance with the mandate given to him.
When asked that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was holding office despite the ongoing corruption proceedings against him, Abbasi said that Dar was the best finance minister for the country. “Though I don’t agree with all his policies, the fact is that he has delivered.”
But earlier Dar used to work 16 hours daily, now he gives his ministry only 12 hours time because now he spends four hours preparing and following his case.
’Govt taking steps to control account deficit’
Commenting on the economic scenario, Abbasi said that the government has taken some steps to control the current account deficit. “We are deliberating on how to increase our exports.”
He went on to say that when the PML-N government assumed power, all fiscal indicators were showing negative signs. “We contributed to growth in all sectors and brought down inflation rate to single figure from double. Our exports have seen growth during last four months.”
“We have offered Sindh govt to take over the PSM. Right now the government is implementing the cheapest solution for PSM woes, and that is issuing salaries to the employees and keeping the mill shut.”
“We are working on various solutions to resolve the issue. But whenever we tried to resolve the issue, the matter was politicised.”
Commenting on the dismal state of affairs at Pakistan International Airlines, Abbasi said the government was ready to handover PIA to any province which was willing to take over. “Privatisation is the only solution left for PIA. Making PIA a private company is on the cards.”
“But for that, we need to have a political consensus, I don't want to bulldoze the issue. I accept the responsibility for the failure of PIA,” the premier said.
PIA is inflicting Rs30-40 billion loss on annual basis to the national exchequer, he added.