They may often be at each other’s throats, but on Tuesday, the majority of political parties were in full support of letting the current assemblies complete their tenure.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Senator Mushahidullah Khan said that any change in the country must be in accordance with the Constitution, and not under pressure or dictation. He said his party is in favour of the continuation of the democratic system.
Commenting on the Supreme Court’s orders to arrest Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Mushahidullah said that premier has not been declared guilty as of yet.
Another PML-N senator, requesting anonymity, said that the court should not have issued the order at a time when a foreign citizen has entered the scene and challenged democracy through instigation.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Awami National Party (ANP) senior leader Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel said the court’s order will further encourage Tahirul Qadri, who has declared a rebellion against a democratic government.
Adeel said that under the Constitution, a new prime minister has to be elected if the apex court bars the incumbent premier. Constitutionally, he said, there must be a sitting leader of the house to dissolve the National Assembly.
“I don’t know whether it is a coincidence, but the Supreme Court should not have given this order at a time when a foreign citizen has declared an insurgency against the democratic government and has brought innocent people to the roads in the name of a revolution,” the senator pointed out.
“Tahirul Qadri has paralysed an entire city for the last three days by instigating innocent people and the Supreme Court should have also taken suo motu notice,” he added.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) spokesperson Maulana Amjad said that party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman contacted the prime minister and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif after the court directives and assured them of his support for the continuation of the democratic process.
The Awami Workers Party (AWP) in a statement said that words like ‘revolution’ and ‘democracy’ have been rendered meaningless by manipulations by individuals like Qadri. Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Wasay Jalil said that the party would not react to the court’s order, for the time being, and added they were currently observing the matter. He added that it was premature to comment on the issue.
However, Mohammad Anwar, a member of the MQM’s central coordination committee, tweeted that the arrest order of the prime minister is the beginning of a peaceful revolution in Pakistan.
Since the court’s order was announced, the party has also stayed mum over its support for Qadri.
(with additional reporting by Rabia Ali in Karachi)
Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2013.