SOURCE: PAKISTAN TODAY
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Saturday that civil-military relations in Pakistan were evolving, adding that it was nothing to be worried about as it’s an evolving relationship in every democracy.
He was speaking at London School of Economics as part of LSE Future of Pakistan Conference. Regarding Pakistan’s relations with India, the prime minister said that the relations between the two countries cannot improve until the Kashmir issue is resolved.
“Talks are the only way forward, without talks no quantum change is possible,” he added.
On Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification, he said that “judiciary recently took a step; it removed the sitting prime minister. We accepted the verdict, the prime minister left office.”
However, he continued, “We have left it to history to judge whether history accepts the judgement or not,” adding that the majority of the people were not happy with the verdict.
Weighing in on the narrative surrounding ‘independent Kashmir’, Abbasi remarked that “the idea is often floated around but has no reality.”
There is no support for the independent Kashmir demand, he claimed. “The people of Kashmir should be given the right to self-determination.”
Discussing the tenure PML-N government, he remarked that all that institutions have improved since 2013. “A majority of loans have been spent on improving country’s infrastructure,” he said, adding “we are taking steps to control Pakistan’s deficit.”
“Right now, our focus is on ensuring that the government completes its tenure and we transition to free and fair general elections.”
No government in Pakistan had completed its tenure till 2008 government. “That government was performing poorly but still completed its tenure.”
Pakistan is perhaps the most exciting country in terms of its politics. “We have had many coups, wars, turmoil… It has been a real challenge to run the country,” he said. “There is never a dull moment in Pakistan’s politics.”
There is a significant level of political instability but “we are trying to counter the challenges.”
Pakistan’s most positive aspect is that its people believe in democracy, he added.