Not ashamed of undergoing security checks: Pak PM Abbasi

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Islamabad, Apr 06: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who recently underwent a security check at a United States (US) airport, said that neither was he ashamed of undergoing the check nor did it lessen his stature as the premier.

Admitting to the security check – a video of which made rounds on social media and Indian channels – the premier said that he’s been travelling to the US for the past 40 years, and goes through routine security checks during his visits, according to Express News.

“I’ve even seen former US president Bill Clinton go through such security checks,” the PM said, adding that when one visits another country, it’s best to respect their laws and protocol.

“I don’t think it reduces my respect, I think it increases it. PM or not, it should not be deemed disrespectful if I went through their security check,” said Abbasi.

PM Abbasi elaborated that he could have written a letter through the US embassy and requested VIP protocol, but he opted not to. He further said he could have asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to accompany him at the airport and “they would have concealed me and taken me through secret pathways at the airport”.

“But the law is the same for everyone, and I think it’s more respectful to be in accordance with the law,” the Abbasi added.

The visit, private in nature, came at a time when Pak-US bilateral relations are at their lowest in recent years after President Donald Trump’s tirade against Pakistan.

The prime minister, during the visit, met with US Vice President Mike Pence and said the senior government official had asked him to visit if Abbasi managed to spare the time for the meeting.

“I raised the voice of Pakistan to the VP,” said Abbasi in reference to the meeting during which he was accompanied by the defence attache.

Responding to the Senate scandal, the premier claimed that he has acquired proof that Chairman Sanjrani had indeed used money in the elections. He called on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari to conduct a press conference and answer whether their MPAs had sold their votes or not.

“Imran needs to say that his 14 MPAs weren’t sell-outs, the votes sold were not bought by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). PML-N MPAs did not sell their votes. If someone takes offence from this sentence, it doesn’t concern me,” he said.

Responding to another question, the premier also said that the chairman of Senate does not have the rights to call on the PM.

Referring to his recent meeting with the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, the premier said he had requested for the meeting to discuss the country’s matters.

Last week, after much debate on the matter, PM Abbasi criticised those who allegedly called him a faryadi (plaintiff) who approached the Chief Justice of Pakistan, saying he went to the top judge for the cause of the country.

On Thursday, dispelling media reports that the CJP had called the premier a faryadi, the top court clarified that the attribution of using the word was completely wrong and malicious. The Chief Justice, the court said, holds the prime minister in high esteem, being the head of the government, and has never used the word faryadi for him.

“Our rivals seem to have a problem that I met the chief justice,” the premier said in a statement on Friday. “I contacted the CJP and he asked me to visit him.”

Shortly after the meeting between the premier and the top judge, PTI chief had said that the former must have begged the CJP for saving Nawaz Sharif’s theft of national wealth.

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