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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday said that the Supreme Court should not make itself controversial, claiming that politicians are as loyal to the country as judges and generals.

Addressing a seminar titled “Five Years of CPEC: A Story of Success and Opportunities”, he said institutions should not level allegations without having proof. He said he and his party had great respect for the judiciary.

The event was organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) with the collaboration of the Ministry of Planning and Development and the Embassy of China at a hotel.

Mr Iqbal said: “No one will be allowed to play with the development of the country. If we get stuck in the conflicts, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will become ineffective. Let’s not be our own enemies.”

PTI says interior minister violated his oath and Constitution

The minister said the Chief Justice of Pakistan must stop what he said “insulting everyone as he does not have the right to do so”. He said the CJP had alleged that he [Mr Iqbal] was involved in the appointment of a vice chancellor.

“If he [CJP] has any evidence he should charge-sheet me rather than levelling allegations against me,” the interior minister added.

He said it was unfortunate that since Liaquat Ali Khan, no prime minister had completed his term of office.

He wondered if politicians of Pakistan were even worse than the politicians of India and Bangladesh.

He said democracy had been derailed in Pakistan whenever the country had started progressing. Once again “a PML-Q has been made in Balochistan”, he said, while describing the group of lawmakers in southern Punjab who recently quit the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, as the one like PPP Patriots.

“The country cannot develop if the system is derailed again and again. Development is a test match and it cannot be won by T10 and T20 matches. Today Pakistan’s economy has posted 5.8 per cent growth rate which is the highest in the past 13 years.

This opportunity should not be wasted as we lost similar opportunities in the 1960s because of war and the 1990s when the political process was derailed,” he said.

He said it should be understood that peace, stability, development and reforms were pillars of progress. “All developing countries have more problems and fewer resources. It is a journey and we will cover it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Naeemul Haque condemned the interior minister’s statement and said in remarks made to Geo TV that it was “a violation of his oath and the Constitution”.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2018