Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) launched its protest movement against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s refusal to step down after his conviction in a contempt case. The first rally was held in Taxila on Saturday addressed by PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif who termed the movement as a “war to save the Supreme Court”.
Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, also present at the gathering, boasted that the Taxila rally was organised within a notice of three days and this was just the “trailer”. After boasting about the party’s achievements during its tenure, Chaudhry Nisar went on to bash the ruling government as well as Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
“The ones who talk about bringing a revolution – they won’t bring any revolution, they can only bring agony. Ask them what their policy is about Kashmir, about labourers, about farmers and about the US. He [PTI chairman Imran Khan] comes on stages with his rote-learned speeches and starts accusing us,” he stated.
The leader of the opposition added after the Supreme Court indicted Gilani, Imran Khan said that he will wait for a detailed order and Gilani, in return, started appreciating him.
Chaudhry Nisar left the stage with chants of “Go Gilani Go” while Nawaz Sharif took the rostrum as participants chanted “Dekho dekho, kon aya? Sher aya, Sher aya”.
“We were willing to be a part of the government to help it move forward… But you tell me: Will you sit in a car which has an inexperienced driver? This government claims of completing its five year tenure, but what has it achieved in these five years,” Nawaz Sharif questioned.
It was earlier reported that besides the protest, the party will also be focusing on its election campaign in Taxila – a constituency from which Chaudhry Nisar has been elected six times. But, Nawaz Sharif, while addressing the rally, stated that he did not come to the city for an election campaign. “We have come here for the security and survival of Pakistan… We are here for the future of our children.”
The party chief went on to comment on the deteriorating law and order situation of various areas of the country. “Is there anyone who cares about Lyari? Or the security situation of Karachi or Balochistan?” he further questioned.
“This is a war to save the Supreme Court,” Nawaz Sharif stated.
Following the Supreme Court’s indictment of Gilani, several parties, including the PML-N, protested against the premier demanding him to step down from his post.
The PML-N has continued to protest in the National Assembly sessions and boycotted the Senate’s debate on President Asif Ali Zardari’s address. The party has stated that it will continue with such protests till Gilani resigns from his post.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Haidar Abbas Rizvi has said that the opposition parties, including the PML-N, must wait for the final detailed verdict of the Supreme Court before taking any decision.
Talking to a private news channel, Rizvi said that the prime minister still has the right to appeal in the case.
He added that democracy gives every political party the right to protest to highlight its stance, however, responsibilities should be taken into consideration and the assembly sessions should not be halted.
Rizvi further said that there is no option for a third force to intervene in the present democratic setup.
Awami National Party (ANP) leader Senator Afrasiyab Khattak said that the announcement of a long march by PML-N in the present political situation is an ‘irresponsible decision’.
Talking to a private news channel, he said if any party is considering a change in the country, it should be brought through a democratic and constitutional way.
Senator Khattak stated that the resolution on the creation of South Punjab province has been passed according to the Constitution and it has been passed in the National Assembly while the Provincial Assembly has also been asked to introduce a resolution on it.
Qamar Zaman Kaira
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) does not need an interpretation of the Supreme Court’s short order in prime minister’s contempt case by Sharif brothers and Chaudhry Nisar.
Talking to media in Murree after inaugurating the 15th conference on Ophthalmology, Kaira said, “We only accept the interpretation of the public, and PPP is enjoying full support and mandate of the public.”
The minister said that all the political allies have expressed confidence in Gilani, and further advised the Sharif brothers to do politics on real issues being faced by the countries rather than trying to influence the court.