Cannot give a guarantee about anyone's life, PM Imran says on Nawaz's health
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said he could not give a guarantee about anyone's life, referring to the Islamabad High Court proceedings last week in which the bench had asked government representatives to "take responsibility" for incarcerated former premier Nawaz Sharif's health.
Prime Minister Imran, while addressing the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Baba Guru Nanak University at Nankana Sahib, said: "Today I read a news that the court has asked the federal and provincial governments whether they can guarantee Nawaz Sharif's life by tomorrow.
"I cannot even guarantee my life by tomorrow, so how can I give a guarantee for someone else's life?"
On Saturday, the IHC granted Nawaz Sharif post-arrest interim bail until Tuesday (tomorrow) in the Al Azizia reference. Nawaz is currently under treatment at Lahore Services Hospital for his low platelet count.
During the proceedings, the federal government had refused to take responsibility for Nawaz's physical well-being.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had observed that if the provincial and federal governments had performed their duties, the matter would have not come before the court.
When the interior secretary had informed the IHC that the federal government would not take any responsibility of the former premier’s health, the court expressed displeasure and remarked "don’t play politics with [the] court" as the law defines certain responsibility of the state.
Prime Minister Imran today said that life and death are in God's hands and humans can only try.
"The federal government, especially the provincial government, has fully tried. We provided the best medical care to Nawaz Sharif," he said, adding that a doctor had been brought from Karachi and he had also sent the chief executive of Shaukat Khanum Hospital to check on Nawaz's health.
"We can only try. Humans cannot give a guarantee of life and death. We can try [and] we fully tried," he reiterated.
Commenting on the opposition's 'Azadi March', led by JUI-F, Prime Minister Imran recalled that he had earlier said that a time would come when the all the "corrupt elements" of Pakistan would come together.
"What is the purpose of the Azadi March [...] their purpose is not that the government is failing, they are scared that the government is succeeding.
"Have you ever heard [this]: 'Azadi March is coming to seek the prime minister's resignation'," he said, questioning why they wanted his resignation in the first place.
"I want to give all of them [opposition] a message: whether you all come together and stage this march or you want to use any other method of blackmail [...] until I am alive, you will not get a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO)."
Following the premier's address, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb condemned his remarks, saying they were coming from a scared and unsuccessful individual. It is the prime minister who requires an NRO, she said in a statement.
Addressing the ceremony after laying the foundation stone of the Baba Guru Nanak University, Prime Minister Imran said that today a very symbolic step had been taken.
The premier said that opponents had questioned why Pakistan was opening the Kartarpur Corridor in light of India's brutality in occupied Kashmir.
"Kartarpur is the Madina of [the] Sikh community. Nankana is their Makkah.
"No matter how bad our relations may be, we should never stop those who admire Guru Nanak."
On Thursday, Pakistan and India signed the agreement on the Kartarpur Corridor, paving the way for its inauguration next month ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev.
Foreign Office spokesman Dr Faisal had said that as per the initiative of the premier, the agreement had been signed while a formal inauguration of the project will be held on November 9.
Additional reporting by Javed Hussain