Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday called for "political decisions to be taken in polling booths, not in courts" as he took another dig at PML-N's rivals for getting the party's former president Nawaz Sharif disqualified and ousted from the PM office.
The PM's remarks come in the wake of his recent meeting with Chief Justice (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar — a rendezvous that had raised many eyebrows in political circles.
The meeting, and Justice Nisar's subsequent referring of the PM as a supplicant, had also irked Sharif, who later publicly asked the prime minister to explain his position on the meeting.
"Let the voters make political decisions," the prime minister stated while addressing a crowd in Dera Ghazi Khan today. "Political decisions are taken in polling booths, not courts."
"It is a strange tradition that whosoever solves the country's problems is dragged into the courts, removed from posts and attempts are made to push [him] away from the people," he said.
"This tradition is not Pakistan's tradition. This tradition will not give respect to politics in Pakistan," he warned.
The prime minister said the decisions of the people always prevail over court's verdicts — some of which, he claimed, are controversial or not accepted by history.
"We continued to work despite severe opposition and gave respect to your vote," PM Abbasi told his audience, outlining his party's achievements since it reclaimed power at federal level in 2013.
"You made a decision in 2008 and you got Asif Ali Zardari, and what he did to Pakistan, you all know. But in 2013 you sent him back home; this was the people's decision," Abbasi said, explaining how democratic systems discards the underperforming.
"The people then chose Nawaz Sharif, whose era saw unprecedented development.
"I have complete faith that the enlightened people of Pakistan will respond to the conspiracies and overthrow of governments at the polling stations [in 2018 General Elections]."
'Chairman Senate should clarify he did not buy votes'
The PM dedicated a large part of his speech to the recent Senate elections, which saw some dark horses triumph amid allegations of horse-trading.
"I want to ask you whether those people who pay to come to the Senate should become Senators," Abbasi said, undeterred by strong criticism by the opposition on his previous remarks about Sadiq Sanjrani's election as the Senate chairman.
The PM had, at recent public gatherings, expressed his concerns over the election of the Senate chairman and said there was a need to elect a consensus chairman of the upper house of the parliament, as it reflected the federation.
"Should the chairman of the upper house be someone who has reached there after buying votes?" he asked today. "Can the house, which has its foundation based on corruption, work for the benefit of Pakistan?"
He demanded that his political opponents "do another press conference and tell the people that 'we did not spend money to get Senators elected'".
PM Abbasi also defended his previous remarks about the procedure of Senate elections as well as horse-trading. "Some people said that the prime minister should not interfere in matters of the Senate. I said that I will continue to interfere until the last breath and I feel that ending this vice [horse-trading] is Jihad."
"Chairman Senate should also give a statement that 'I did not buy any Senator to become chairman Senate'," he urged.
He said that a country where sham lawmakers occupy top posts can never develop. "I feel that it is my duty to put this vice in front of the people for them to decide for themselves."