Economy can’t afford a new political crisis: minister

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal Monday said the country’s fragile economic situation could not afford any new political crisis, therefore, his party’s demand for the formation of a full bench of the Supreme Court to hear the case involving the contentious election for the office of Punjab chief minister should be accepted.

Addressing a press conference outside the Supreme Court, the minister said the government was making efforts to bring the economy out of crisis and towards stability, but “if more political crises are created, our efforts would go in vain and the economy might land in deep trouble”.

He said the “dual standards” of justice should be stopped against his party, adding: “We were jailed for months and years on the basis of false cases but the PTI leaders were given free hand.”

“If a PTI leader is prisoned, they are released within 24 hours, similarly our name has been in the Exit Control List (ECL) for over three years but the names of PTI leaders in the ECL is removed within 48 hours,” he added.

Iqbal said former prime minister Imran Khan and his party leaders repeatedly issued provocative statements against the institutions and the judiciary but nobody took notice.

For seven months, he said, former chief minister Usman Buzdar did not act upon a court order but no one was there to send him any notice.

“With due respect, we are asking why the country’s laws apply only to us and not to Imran Khan and his party,” he said adding: “We do not want the judiciary to become a party with the political disputes of the country.”

Therefore, he said, the whole nation is demanding that the full court bench should be formed to hear the case to avoid any new dispute.

The minister said the Supreme Court should hear such a sensitive case with a full bench because at this level, after the decision, the chief minister would not have the option to go for appeal.

“We want to see judiciary strong and we want to save the judiciary’s honour”, he said, adding that Khan was out to sabotage the judiciary’s honour only for his political gains.


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