Dispelling a perception of conflict between the government and judiciary, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said the country could prosper only when all these respected each other and worked within their spheres.

Addressing a ceremony of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), the premier said mud-slinging on institutions was tantamount to defaming the country. He said strengthening the institutions would strengthen the country.

He said that the democratic government could not even think of disgracing the judiciary, adding that ridiculing any state institution meant ridiculing Pakistan. He insisted that all needed to work with the objective of serving the country.

PM Ashraf observed, “Being the prime minister, I have to respect the courts because it is the place where all heads bow down as justice is dispensed here.”

The prime minister sad institutions in the country were in an evolutionary stage and hopefully things would settle over a period of time. He said the country’s real enemies were extremists and terrorists who were taking away people’s lives. “We have to tackle this menace collectively and we must win.”

He said issuing edicts by terrorists, declaring people non-Muslim and casting them to heaven or hell was a mockery of Islam.

The premier insisted democracy was the only system of governance that reflected aspirations of people. Whenever dictators took over in violation of the Constitution and against the will of masses, people suffered, he added.

The prime minister urged lawyers to support the philosophy of democracy which was a guarantee to the country’s uplift. He also asked them to reject the false perception of differences between the government and the judiciary.

Recalled that the Pakistan People’s Party strongly supported the lawyers’ struggle for the restoration of judges, PM Ashraf said that he himself being the coordinator of Rawalpindi division at that time galvanized the support of his party workers to the lawyers’ movement.

The premier also announced a grant of Rs75 million for SCBA’s building and said the government would provide financial support to lawyers in other areas.