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Polls will be held on time, says President Hussain

April 17, 2018


President Mamnoon Hussain going through biometric verification for his passport at the Passport Headquarters on Monday.—Online
President Mamnoon Hussain going through biometric verification for his passport at the Passport Headquarters on Monday.—Online

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain has brushed aside possibilities of any delay in upcoming general elections expected to be held in July.

The president was speaking to reporters on Monday outside the Directorate of Immigration and Passport (DIP) where he and his wife had gone to get their passports renewed.

Some political circles believe that due to political uncertainty in the country the general polls can be delayed.

Awami Muslim League President Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, who is one of the petitioners against Nawaz Sharif in his trial in accountability court, said that elections could be delayed by four months while speaking outside the Supreme Court on Monday.

President Hussain, while answering a question about [political] uncertainty in the country which surfaced after the Panama Papers case verdict, said he could not guide politicians as they should act wisely and shun their differences.

“They [politicians] should decide that they should work together for the interest of the country and play a proactive role for China-Pakistan Econo­mic Corridor and progress of the motherland,” he said.

The president urged politicians to not indulge in activities which were detrimental to the development and progress of the country, emphasising that institutions should work within their constitutions limits.

In reply to a question about the tax amnesty scheme, President Hussain said the scheme was not meant for facilitating tax evaders. He said not only Pakistan but many other countries had introduced tax amnesty schemes aimed to prevent allegations of money laundering.

Indirectly expressing his support for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the president said it was unfair that only one man was being targeted.

“There are hundreds of people who own their houses in foreign countries but it is unfair to target only a specific person,” he said.

The president set a good example by personally visiting the DIP for the renewal of his passport.

Former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had during his tenure stopped the practice of processing passport requests of rulers at their own places and also ordered the department not to send their staff in future.

Mr Hussain expressed satisfaction over the working of DIP and said he was not aware that such arrangements were made for everyone in the directorate.

Answering a question regarding the dignity of the Pakistani passport, he said Pakistanis should avoid visiting those countries where they were given no respect.

Published in Dawn, Aprill 17th, 2018