'There is a conspiracy against democracy in Pakistan'

PML-N leader believes martial law is imminent

Our Correspondent July 10, 2017
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. PHOTO: REUTERS

HYDERABAD: Saying that since its creation, Pakistan has been a victim of conspiracies, including those against democratic governance, a Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) leader believes that history may be trying to repeat itself.

"After around every 10 years of nascent democratic dispensation, martial law has followed," observed PML-N's Central Vice-President Syed Shah Muhammad Shah at a press conference on Sunday at the Hyderabad Press Club.

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Shah was referring to General Ziaul Haq's military takeover in 1977 and General (retd) Pervez Musharraf's in 1999. The former removed the Pakistan Peoples Party's government, headed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and the latter PML-N's.

"But this isn't the 1970s or 1990s," he said. Shah recalled that after the 1999 coup, both major parties signed the charter of democracy and agreed to strengthen democracy and oppose undemocratic means of removing elected governments.

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"That charter still exists," he said, tacitly acknowledging that despite their bitter political differences, both the PML-N and PPP will remain committed to the 2006 agreement. Shah said after that agreement attempts were made to remove both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, adding that though the PPP leader was martyred, Sharif has so far survived the attempts.

He blamed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairperson Imran Khan and MNA Shaikh Rashid for allegedly conspiring to provoke confrontation between the institutions. But, he asserted, despite the pressures and propaganda, the prime minister will not resign from his office.

The PML-N leader came down hard on the Joint Investigation Team probing the PM and his family's involvement in the Panama leaks. "[The] JIT has become a police station where for six hours they quizzed the PM and his family without telling them the charges," he alleged.


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