Hitting out at Dr Tahirul Qadri’s long march, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s chief has said that only the Constitution provides the methodology to remove an incompetent ruler and not a sit-in or “pressure tactics”.
Nawaz Sharif was scheduled to visit Badin on Thursday and address a public gathering on the occasion of Fazil Raho’s death anniversary, but cancelled his trip due to bad weather and held a telephonic address instead.
The PML-N chief asked the people to use their vote to bring change in the country. “I assure you that the power your vote has, no long march or sit-in can match it.”
He said, “It is only through your vote that you can bring change for prosperity, to strengthen the country’s borders, end terrorism, improve education, and get land reforms and put Sindh and Pakistan on a path to progress”.
In his address, he said that those who cannot win elections were afraid of the power of votes and wanted to rule without serving. In an apparent reference to Minhaj-ul-Quran International’s (MQI) leader Dr Qadri, he said certain elements wanted to bring change, not through votes but through sit-ins.
“We struggled for the right of vote during difficult times, in jails and in exiles. What type of a leader sits in a safe, comfortable and bulletproof container while innocent children, weak women and the elderly sit on the roads in cold nights?”
The PML-N leader said that if such a person really felt the pain of people, he should announce that he himself would also spend nights on the cold road, or he should take pity and let people go home.
Nawaz called upon the nation to utilise its right to vote and begin an era of change, prosperity, peace, progress, medical care, education and employment by getting rid of incompetent rulers.
He said that the PML-N had always urged the nation to follow the Constitution because only the Constitution had the methodology to bring about a change through holding elections.
There was no need of a long march, Nawaz said, because the mandate of the present government of five years would end in the middle of March and people could elect new leaders as guaranteed by the Constitution.
He asked people to get rid of failed rulers and not mistake the failure of the government to deliver with the failure of the democratic dispensation.
“There are only eight weeks to go before this corrupt and inept government ends. We should all hope for a better future and a better government after the next elections.”
Meanhwile, President Asif Ali Zardari telephoned Nawaz on Thursday evening and condoled with him over the death of his brother Abbas Sharif. The president said that he would also visit Raiwind to personally offer condolences.
According to Nawaz’s political secretary Dr Asif Kirmani, the conversation between the president and PML-N chief was purely based on condolence and they did not discuss the political situation of the country.
According to sources, Zardari will visit Nawaz’s residence before the next session of the National Assembly and Senate scheduled for January 21.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2013.