No compromise on SC verdict in Aasia Bibi case: PM Imran

LAHORE: There will be no compromise on the decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, declared Prime Minister Imran Khan in a reference to the acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case and subsequent protests from religious groups against the top court’s verdict.

“If a government does not stand by the decisions of the apex court, the country cannot survive,” asserted PM Imran after addressing the foundation stone-laying ceremony of a shelter home in the provincial capital on Saturday.

The PM said the government stood by the decision of the top court and there would be no compromise on it.

“The rule of law depends on following the verdict of the Supreme Court and if you do not follow the top court’s decision, the law ends in the country,” he maintained.

Aasia was convicted of blasphemy by a lower court and sentenced to death by hanging in 2010, and the conviction was upheld by the Lahore High Court. However, the Supreme Court acquitted her last month on the basis of insufficient evidence. This triggered countrywide protest sit-ins by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan. The sit-ins were called off only after the government and the protesters reached a five-point deal.

The premier, meanwhile, said there was a concept of monarchy in Punjab.

“Ministers had a habit of enjoying luxuries. I decided to nominate Sardar Usman Buzdar as Punjab CM considering his background. He belongs to one of the most deprived districts of Punjab,” said Imran.

He said Buzdar’s house had no electricity, nor was there any hospital in his area. “He [Buzdar] knows what the difficulties are and can work in a better way for the benefit of the common man,” he said.

Referring to the picture of a homeless family in Lahore which recently went viral on social media, the PM underlined that if people did not feel compassionate after seeing such a picture, they could not be considered humans.

“Pakistan does not lack resources, but there is a lack of empathy. We have resources, but are not concerned about the homeless because they are not our voters,” he lamented.

He said it was Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Iqbal’s dream to make Pakistan a model Islamic state, adding that the government had spent the past two months saving the country from default and succeeded.

“Now the government has to concentrate on making Pakistan a true welfare state and the establishment of the shelter home for the homeless people in Lahore is the first step in that direction,” he added.

Imran said he spoke to the Punjab chief minister and decided to allocate five spots to make shelter homes for the homeless people. “These spots are in areas where people arrive from outside the city to seek employment,” he added.

Lauding the Punjab CM, Imran said Buzdar reminded him of the time when he used to select players and they became Wasim Akram and Inzamamul Haq. “Buzdar will also prove to be a good selection, like Waseem Akram and Inzamamul Haq,” he added.

To a question, the premier said he would speak about corruption allegations on Saturday (today). “You will really enjoy it,” he said.

Earlier, Imran, who was accompanied by the Punjab chief minister, laid the foundation stone for a shelter home near the Lahore Railway Station.

The shelter home would be constructed on one-kanal land of the Punjab government, but the construction would be carried out by the federal government.

The shelter home will provide a roof to 93 men and 27 women. It will also include construction of multi-purpose halls for imparting training and holding public awareness programmes on vital social objectives.

The government aims to build four more shelter homes in other areas, like Data Darbar, Badami Bagh and Thokar Niaz Baig. The government will constitute a board to oversee the functioning of the shelter homes.

Source: The Express Tribune

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