LAHORE: Federal Minster for Pakistan Railway Khawaja Saad Rafique on Saturday said that if politicians cannot be given respect they at least should not be disrespected.
The minister’s remarks were an apparent response to Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar during a suo moto case. Khawaja Saad Rafique was addressing a Pakistan Railways event in Lahore. He was flanked by Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.
He said it has always been politicians who have been meted out with disrespect throughout the history of Pakistan. Rafique added that parties coming to power after winning mandate from the public are disrespected, ridiculed and dragged out of power corridor.
He questioned how many governments would be replaced like this. He said that if politicians are asked to trust the system then the system should also trust the politicians.
“Politicians need to be trusted if this system is to be allowed to move forward,” said Saad Rafique.
He added, “This is not a banana republic where governments are insulted, taunted and disrespected. With regards to the firing incident the minister said, “If we say we haven’t done it, we should be trusted…we can say more but due to the firing incident on Sunday at Justice Ejaz ul Ahsan’s residence…we will speak our heat out later.”
He condemned the incident and said that it was a truly barbaric, inhumane act committed by shameless anti-state elements or conspirators.
“Our party stands united with the judiciary on this incident,” and added that the culprits should be caught and brought before people of Pakistan.
The minister said that his government has not been allowed to fully function in the last six months as they were partially busy defending themselves in courts. “System should be allowed to function freely without any external and internal pressures for best results,” he added.
He said the best way to address such turbulences in the flight path of this democracy is to have free and fair elections on time. He added that adequate environment should also be provided for free and fair election.
He said that respecting the sanctity of vote is the only way forward.
Khawaja Saad Rafique distanced himself from the policy line of Nawaz Sharif and his camp saying that many in his party do not agree with him. However, he added that he does not believe in policy of confrontation.
The minister said that he can forecast the outcome of such a policy with his acumen and added that the political system needs support of all institutions, including of judiciary, to prosper.
Addressing the ceremony, Ayaz Sadiq also condemned the firing incident and said that such incidents cannot be tolerated. “If the purpose of the incident was to induce fear in the hearts of honorable judges or to stop them from deciding cases freely…we would also be anticipating a quick arrest of the culprits,” said Sadiq
He also said that the free and fair elections should be held in the country and added that engineered elections have never brought any good in Pakistan. The NA speaker said that the conspiracy of engineered elections should be thwarted at every cost. With regards to those changing loyalties, he said that turncoats have always faced humiliation in Pakistan.