As Islamabad roils under political turmoil, temperatures in Peshawar seem to be rising with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) coalition partners – Jamaat Islami (JI) and Awami Jamhoori Ittehad (AJI) – endorsing the Long March as a constitutional right yet opposing any suggestion of dissolving assemblies on the pretext of rigging.
Voicing the rumblings of dissent within his party, JI Amir Sirajul Haq on Sunday said, “We support the demand for an independent and powerful Election Commission of Pakistan, which is essential for ensuring free, fair and transparent polls but PTI leadership failed to take its coalition partners in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) govt into confidence regarding the scheduled long march.”
The remarks, made at a press conference at Al Markaz Islami Peshawar in the presence of AJI chief and senior minister in the K-P Shahraam Khan, come as new reports suggest that PTI may consider resigning from assemblies if the government failed to meet their demands on August 14.
“We don’t see any crisis or non-conducive political atmosphere in the province which could justify dissolution of the government or provincial assembly,” Sirajul Haq remarked. He added that while the PTI, as a political party had the right to withdraw from government and tender resignations from assemblies, it had no right to disrupt democratic processes.
Advocating that the people of K-P wanted stability and peace in a period when almost a million Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) were looking for services and repatriation, Sirajul Haq said that the common man did not look upon the “dissolution of government/assembly positively.” He said that provincial assembly is a sacred trust of people of his province and his party was determined to protect this trust.
The JI Ameer also took the opportunity to give political advice to the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) led government. He called for PML-N to remain calm during the August 14 protests and serve those gathering in the federal capital.
In response to a question, Sirajul Haq said that PTI, JI and AJI are partners in a coalition government but were also independent political parties. He added that PTI had not consulted its partners on the scheduled long march or the future of the provincial government.
Meanwhile, other political stalwarts from other political parties have also started consultations to protect the provincial assembly. According to opposition MP’s they are working on different options for the protection of assembly as well as continuation of democratic process in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th,2014.
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