PM's session with students at Lums
By News Desk
October 31, 2023 02:48 AM
Social media is abuzz with a clip showing a student complaining about the prime minister coming 50 minutes late.
He said: “Students and teachers were waiting here for the Prime Minister, but he reached 50 minutes behind schedule. Here students left their classes and kept waiting. Don't you value knowledge and student's time?
The student continued: “I am ashamed that indeed the prime minister of my country has no respect for knowledge. Or maybe I feel my prime minister does not know the respect of knowledge."
The PM replied that he (the student) seemed to be very disappointed with the government.
But we are not disappointed in you.
“I came 50 minutes late because I started the cabinet meeting.
“I want you to have an opportunity to join the cabinet so that you can understand that time-taking decisions are being made for your benefit.
Had I got to know about your wait and anger, I would not have spared 35 or 40 minutes.”
About illegal immigrants, the premier said the state law will be implemented. Such policy was not centric to only illegal Afghan nationals that had been staying inside the country but encompassed all those undocumented and illegal foreigners, he said adding that Pakistan hosted more than 4 million Afghan refugees for 40 years under the Geneva Convention though it was not a signatory.
He said more than 1 million foreigners had been categorized as illegal who had been staying in Pakistan without legal and valid documents. They were being encouraged to return to their native countries, he said, adding if they wanted to return to Pakistan with the required legal documents and valid visas, there would be no restriction.
The PM said he had already given direction to the relevant authorities of the interior ministry to ensure the dignity of the repatriated women and children as there might be vulnerable groups.
He clarified that all Afghans were not terrorists but the involvement of certain groups in illegal activities was a part of the problem, adding it was the prime responsibility of the government to protect the lives of its people which was also a constitutional obligation. He said governments’ policies were framed after institutional inputs from different institutions and departments.
About the election, he said the caretaker government was a product of a constitutional order after the former leader of the house and leader of opposition in the previous National Assembly adopted a constitutional procedure and agreed upon his nomination. He said that the previous parliament had passed a law in which the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was mandated to announce an election date. “It is the mandate of the ECP and not of the Caretaker Prime Minister to set a date for the general elections,” he said, adding if he was mandated under the constitution, he would have given the same.
The caretaker government would assist the ECP with the provision of finances and security for a smooth process and ensure to fulfilment of their constitutional duty. About delay in Punjab and KP polls, the prime minister said that the matter did not pertain to the tenure of the interim set-up and referred to Article 254 of the Constitution which said that any delay or failure to comply with the legal requirement as to time, did not render an act invalid or unconstitutional because it happened late.
Explaining his view in response to a question by a student, the prime minister said that in Pakistan democracy was in the transitional period and it had not been a settled one like that of a European country where the democratic system had taken a shape.
He said that to reach their destination, well-defined principles should be laid down beyond political considerations. There should be discourse instead of political dogfights on TV screens, he said and regretted that certain social and political trends, kinds of hate and abuse on social media platforms, had become a part of their lives.
About incidents of May 9 in Pakistan, he said that in the US too, the protestors involved in the Capitol Hill violent incidents were charged with and handed down different sentences.
“We have to accept the legal consequences of an action as there is due process,” he said, adding that it was the function of the parliament to frame laws and acts. The caretaker prime minister observed that the modernization phase in the world has been undergoing a huge transformation because it was an era of Artificial Intelligence.