Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that society becomes free when it gets justice, since the latter was necessary to uplift the common person. He reassured that the government would fully support the judiciary.
Addressing a ceremony in connection with the ground-breaking of the Islamabad District Courts' building, the premier said the weak in society needed justice and protection. "If you want to uplift the common person [...] then it is necessary to provide them justice as well and a society becomes free when it gets justice," he said.
He added that investment and development flowed into a country when the justice system provided protection and ensured contract enforcement. "When there is justice in a country then investment and prosperity follow."
The premier explained that he had given the PTI its name when he entered politics since he had seen the country's decline and thought why should it lag behind other countries. He attributed Pakistan's decline to a lack of rule of law.
"Whatever banana republics are there aren't because of lack of resources but because of the rule of power instead of rule of law," he said, lamenting that "two Pakistans" were created in the country with differing treatment between the people.
"The greatest injustice that General [Pervez] Musharraf did with this country — apart from violating the Constitution — is giving NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) to the powerful. It was not his money but of the nation so he didn't have the right to say 'we forgive you'."
The prime minister said he was proud of being a part of the 2007 lawyers' movement, terming it an "epic struggle" for democracy and rule of law where "we were saying to a military dictator that you can't remove a chief justice like this".
"I was saying 25 years ago that the country can only progress when the courts are free," he added.
The premier, however, lamented that the movement had not yielded the results that it should have.
"The struggle for rule of law and justice is ongoing and society continuously strives for it. Whichever society establishes rule of law is prosperous."
Reiterating that overseas Pakistanis were the country's biggest asset, he said they were reluctant to funnel investment due to landgrabbers "flourishing" because of deficiencies in the legal system.
The prime minister praised Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court Justice Athar Minallah for his "fantastic judgements" which he said were important for society and the environment, saying that he had helped the government in preserving Islamabad's green areas.
"It has become a national necessity that we keep our country green, save our environment and keep our rivers and air clean," he emphasised.