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LAHORE: Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali said on Monday that powers of the president to dissolve assemblies or pardon any convict were conditional upon the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet.

He was responding to media queries at the attorney general’s sub-office at the Lahore High Court, in particular about the rumours of dissolution of assemblies and any possibility of presidential pardon for disqualified prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The AGP said the president was the head of the state, but he had a limited role in the dissolution of parliament and extending pardon to anyone.

The status of the president’s powers in Pakistan was equal to the British Queen and India’s president, he added.

About the case of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, the attorney general said Pakistan would file its reply before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the next hearing fixed for Dec 13.

He said the convicted Indian spy had been allowed to meet his wife on the basis of Islamic teachings and humanitarian grounds. He said Pakistan would also agitate before the ICJ against grave violations of human rights in India-held Kashmir.

Mr Ali said there had been a sense of anxiety in China over delay in several projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Delay in the Orange Line Metro Train project caused a huge loss to the national exchequer and increased the project’s cost manifold, he said.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2017