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Sharif defends stance on constitutional reforms

Chief Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Mian Nawaz Sharif has reiterated his stance on proposed constitutional amendment, saying that he feels no embarrassment on adopting a different course on reforms Package.

“I don’t know when and where I took a u-turn. We want a democracy in the country in its real terms and adopted the stance in the light of this desire,” Sharif told the newsmen here Saturday.

He revealed that the present shape of the judicial commission, responsible for appointing the judges in higher judiciary and the major bone of contention between the PML-N and ruling regime, was as per formula presented by his party. However, he added, “We are against the inclusion of federal law minister in the body.”

He also criticized federal law minister’s role in summoning the joint session of the Parliament without any consent by the Constitutional Reforms Committee, saying that he is himself an NRO-tainted official and have charges of receiving gratification of Rs30 million in a case.

He said PML-N had suggested that Chief Justice of Pakistan should preside over the judicial commission and have the authority to appoint any of the retired judges of the apex court as member of the body.

“I firmly believe that no any single person should have the authority on appointment of judges. The matter should be institutionalized… Pakistan is changing and we should also change our mindset,” Sharif said.

He reiterated his suggestion that Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani should call on CJP to have his input on the proposed criteria for the appointment of judges, saying that there is no wrong if the PM does so.

PML-N chief said that every institution of the state has its own defined role and jurisdictions that should be respected and protected, adding that his suggestions for constitutional reforms will avoid any collision among the institutions.

Answering to a question, he said, the remains of Former President Gen. (Retd) Pervez Musharraf is still exist in all Provinces including Punjab. “There are rumors that I changed my stance after I received a phone call. I have not taken any U-turn.” Sharif told the newsman.

PML-N leader strongly rejected some reports appeared in today’s newspapers regarding receiving phone calls that changed PML-N’s view about judges’ issue. ‘Today’s Pakistan is very different and we need to change our mindset’, he remarked.

Sharif also came down hard on the government for creating this situation and hoped to solve the touchy issue of renaming NWFP, which, in view of many was the real hurdle in 18th amendment.

“I am not looking for personal interests in the constitutional package. I am continuing the struggle for the interests of the nation. Pakistan is the greatest priority for us and not our personal interests or positions,” he asserted. He said that PML-N and ANP would try to resolve the issue of renaming of NWFP with Pakhtoonkhwa with dialogue.

Nawaz said that the constitutional package will also benefit him and it will give him the chance to become the prime minister for the third time but he is not looking for his personal interests and he is opposing the government’s proposed judicial commission for the interests of the nation.



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