LAHORE: The ongoing political crisis is a threat to the whole democratic setup and not just the incumbent prime minister.
This was the crux of views expressed at a discussion on the current political scenario. The event was organised by SOCH head and PML-N senior leader Muhammad Mehdi at the Punjab University Executive Club on Sunday.
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Former ambassador Javed Hasan, Punjab University’s political science department’s ex-head Professor Rashid Ahmed Khan, lawyer AK Dogar, journalist Altaf Husain Qureshee, Dr Amjad Magsi and central PML-N leader Muhammad Mehdi attended the event.
They agreed political stability was one of the four components needed for a modern state to progress. Javed regretted the fact that repeated military interventions destabilised the country and hindered the economic progress, besides giving birth to other evils.
Professor Rashid asserted that political instability was being created because of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Some forces, he said, could not bear to see Pakistan and China progress, while others fear that Beijing could develop Gwadar as a naval base.
He said the nefarious “minus one formula” would neither be acceptable nor workable as it could damage the very democratic process.
The formula, he recalled, had earlier been unsuccessfully suggested for MQM and PPP. “Now PML-N has become a target.”
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Dogar, who had submitted a writ petition a day ago challenging the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction to become a direct trial court in the Panama case, said he could not see “fair justice” as some superior judges had also been politicised due to the media.
Quoting verdicts of Federal Shariah Court, he said an accused could not be denied his right to appeal against a decision of a trial court. However, as the apex court had itself become a trial court in the Panamagte case, the accused (Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif) had been robbed of the right to appeal, he argued.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2017.