INTERNATIONAL

Ex-Pakistan PM doubts legitimacy of elections

Islamabad, July 8: Former Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Sunday raised doubts over the legitimacy of the July 25 elections. “I have doubts about the transparency and fairness of the elections,” the 59-year-old politician who held the office from August 2017 to June 2018 told Efe news in Bhara Kahu on the outskirts of Islamabad. “We have had a history of non-democratic rule in Pakistan and interference in elections was common in the past. The last two elections were relatively free of interference and we were hoping that this time it would be a much better process but unfortunately, that has not been the case.”

Abbasi came to power after his predecessor, Nawaz Sharif, was disqualified from office by the Supreme Court for not declaring the earnings from a company run by his son. But Sharif’s problems did not end there. On Friday, an anti-corruption court sentenced him to 10 years in prison for failing to disclose the source of funds used to buy four luxury apartments in London in the 1990s. Regarding Sharif’s disqualification and sentencing, Abbasi said: “Maybe the policies (of the government) were in conflict with the considerations of the establishment.” “In a country that spent half its time under military rule, there is a certain culture, there are certain practices, which take time to go away,” according to Abbasi, who has three decades of political experience. (IANS)