LAHORE, Oct 30 (APP): Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Monday reiterated that as per government’s policy and relevant laws, they were sending back all the illegal aliens and foreigners from the soil of Pakistan as the set deadline of October 31 under the repatriation process draws nearer.
He said that 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.
In an interaction with the students of Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) during a special session, the prime minister elaborated that Pakistan had hosted more than 4 million Afghan refugees on its soil for the last 40 years under the Geneva Convention, despite the fact that it was not a signatory to that.
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 being encouraged to return back 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.
Replying to a question regarding an incident involving Afghan nationals, the caretaker prime minister said that he had already given direction to the relevant authorities of the interior ministry to ensure dignity of the repatriated women and children as there might be vulnerable groups.
The prime minister said that Pakistan had entertained on its soil for decades those Afghans that had been registered as refugees and compared the treatment meted out to immigrants’ boats in the Mediterranean Sea.
To a query, he maintained that in various terrorists’ incidents, certain groups were involved and referred to a suicide attack in a mosque in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in which the suicide bomber was identified from DNA tests as Afghan national.
He clarified that all Afghans were not terrorists but 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.
The caretaker prime minister said that governments’ policies were framed after institutional inputs from different institutions and departments.
Replying to a student’s question, he said that 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.
Prime Minister Kakar further said that the caretaker government would assist the ECP with provision of finances and security for the smooth process and assured to fulfill 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 for reaching to their destination, well defined principles should be laid down beyond the political considerations.
There should be informed discourse instead political dogfights on Tv screens, he said and regretted that certain social and political trends, kind of hate and abuse on social media platforms, had become a part of their lives.
Encouraging students to take bold decisions and engage in informed discourse over various challenges being faced by the country, the caretaker prime minister stressed that they should first explore themselves and then search for in what they believed.
To another query with regard to freedom of expression and rights, the prime minister mentioned that state had its constitutional rights and pointed out Article 5 of the Constitution which demanded for unconditional loyalty with the state.
He said that everyone had to follow sets of rules and regulations otherwise, it would lead to chaos and anarchy in a society.
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 a due process,” he said, adding that it were the functions of the parliament to frame laws and acts.
The caretaker prime minister observed that modernization phase in the world has been undergoing a huge transformation because it was an era of Artificial Intelligence.
Explaining the purpose of his visit to LUMS, the prime minister said that he was visiting all the provincial metropolitans and looking for the solution based answers to the problems faced by the country.
He said they were looking for different approaches to these challenges and needed human resources, and in this regard the educational institutions could be the contributors towards solutions.
Responding to a query, the prime minister sad that the interim set up was tasked to run the whole country which was going through the economic crunches and implementing an IMF programme.
He regretted that the majority of the people in the country were not contributing towards taxes as the tax ratio in Pakistan stood around 10 percent to GDP and stressed upon increasing the tax revenues like Scandinavian countries.