ISLAMABAD: With the temperature rising in Islamabad just seven days before Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) planned Azadi march, opposition groups in the National Assembly on Thursday advised the government to show maturity and work to reduce the mounting tension.
Voicing their concerns over the reported crackdown against political workers, particularly in Lahore, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami Muslim League (AML) urged the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to handle matters with tact.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who made a rare appearance in the National Assembly during its ongoing session on Thursday, did not move to activate his mic or issue a statement.
In another telling move, the estranged PTI chief Imran Khan was conspicuous in his absence. Khan has not attended any sitting of ongoing assembly session.
However, the PTI was not totally unrepresented in Thursday's session. PTI's Makhdoom Javed Hashmi said that the situation has become serious as the government has started arresting political workers despite the fact no unconstitutional step had been taken.
Alleging that the government had virtually sealed Lahore and has seized thousands of motorcycles so that people could not participate in rallies, AML chief Sheikh Rashid claimed such tactics by the government would only prompt the likes of PPP and MQM to join the PTI march.
Having already met with the premier at the PM House on Thursday, MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar asked the government to reduce the tension by showing political maturity. He urged the government to avoid registering cases on political grounds.
Joining the chorus, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah shared his concerns and asked the government not to arrest political workers.
Shah urged the government to adopt its current trajectory and deal with the present political circumstances in the country. Referring to media reports that the government had started seizing motorbikes as well as closing petrol pumps due to the fear of PTI’s August 14 march he said, “Please don’t worry about the long march of the PTI as it is the constitutional right of any political party to hold a rally.”
He also asked political forces hell-bent on dislodging the government not to take any step that was against democracy.
“I want to tell the Prime Minister that all political parties, which have representation in the Parliament, believe in supremacy of the Parliament. In case someone takes any step against democracy history would relate them with dictators,” he added.
Shah referred to the politics of the past when both the PML-N and PPP had less than cordial relations. “We have learned our lessons.” The PPP and PML-N though worked to restore democracy through their sacrifices and now it is up to them how they strengthen it.
Reiterating PPP’s stance of not supporting any unconstitutional or undemocratic step, Shah said that today there were variety of rumors all around with some saying democratic system was going to be derailed while others were talking about revolutions. “We do not want to save anyone but wanted to strengthen the democracy and Parliament.”
Earlier, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Sheikh Aftab Ahmed responded to the complaint of the opposition and clarified that his government would not create hurdles for those who wanted to join the PTI march.
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Where is Shahbaz Shareef who promised to end load-shedding in 6 months? This broke record of Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, atleast he required a little more than 6 months lolz..... Keep loving Pakistan by accepting the rule of JUST ONE FAMILY, just like QADDAFI lolz.....
ET.......it should be "coercive measures" NOT "corrosive measure"......please correct
Nawaz Sharif is acting like Qaddafi? -- looks like neither you know Qaddafi nor Nawaz Sharif.
What does Imran mean when he says on 14th August Nawas Sharif monarchy will end.
Does he plan to carry out a palace coup on the 14th -- or does he plan to shoot Nawaz Sharif dead -- as Imran knows -- everybody knows that NS is neither a monarch nor his government is a monarch -- nor it is ending on 14th August -- yet he says these most improbable things -- as a matter of fact.
These are the kind of irresponsible bazari statements that make Imran a light weight untrustworthy politician that is hard to be taken seriously either at home or abroad.
If anything -- the only thing it does -- it erodes the confidence of potential foreign investors's in the economic and political stability of Pakistan.
We had such high hopes from this young man but he turned out to be such an unfocussed self absorbed agitated dud.
@ET: Coercive not corrosive. Well how come ET can commit such a gaffe? @ Hashmi; "I hope the all-powerful final arbiters step in and persuade Nawaz Sharif and Company to make a mutually-beneficial decision, which would be their saying goodbye to us soonest possible." Your conclusion does not logically follow from your "analysis." Power shortages are not going away soon no matter who rules, including the "powerful final arbiters." You should come out and explain your real motives for wanting to say "goodbye" to NS. There is more than meets the eye.
Well, IK has the resemblance to Qaddafi.
And NS resembles Curly from the Three Stooges--go check it out!
@ Proud Pakistan/Blithe - if IK becomes the PM and bring improvement in country - would you be supporting him or opposing him? if you would still be opposing then I don't have any comments for you!
on top of it, no one derailing the democracy - these two parties have come to power for 3rd time and what we have received in terms of progress as a country/people/law and order/economic development/education/health/industries and etc...
Blaming others is much easier - turning around where progress is visible with factual result is different and sorry to say these two parties just don't have the capability or capacity do to that (and on a side note not sure about IK either)
I dont care PPP or PMLN remain in power for decades but they need to show the visible results and not just paper progress
@S.R.H. Hashmi: Well, IK has the resemblance to Qaddafi.
And under the 18th amendment , CMs are more powerful than the PM. What has PTI for KPK? Has a single MW been developed by them?? Have they made any efforts to stop energy theft in kPk? Have they development at all at any level?
I beseech PML N to go for a no confidence motion against PTI in KPK . We have had enough of this nonsense!
The word ' corrosive ' in the title seems wrong........coercive may be better.
@S.R.H. Hashmi: Enough is enough. Very long story but useless, imran should go to UK for ever as he's in the part of age in which he need's permanent mental as well as physical rest - bye the way what he has done for KPK where he has government of PTI, he can do only blame game and nothing else. He has already damaged our beloved country Pakistan economically so much. So don't derail the normal cycle of democracy of our beloved country and stop loving imran and musharraf - love only Pakistan and that's all.
Show maturity?!?! That's rich coming from PTI.
A 5 year old is more nature than IK! His actions are hurting the exnomy vas the business / investor community is getting tired over his tantrums ...
Is Nawaz Sharif Going the Qaddafi way?
Judging from the various punitive measures being taken by Nawaz Sharif's administration, I could not help wondering whether he has decided , like Muammar Qaddafi, to fight it out tooth and nail, so to speak and as first steps, his administration has started harassing and making life difficult for Dr. Tahirul Qadri, Imran Khan and their respective followers. If, despite sane advice from other politicians, he has actually decided that way then he should also keep in mind the misfortune that Qaddafi brought on himself and his family despite being all-powerful and in direct control of the armed forces of the state, which capacity Nawaz Sharif lacks.
And while Qaddafi had a substantial group of people loyal to him, Nawaz Sharif commands no such loyalty except of course among his circle of relatives, friends and business associates who are far more likely to prove to be the primary cause of his downfall.
And people are terribly disappointed with him. If he brought about some improvement in the load shedding, that would have given people some hope that he will bring improvements in other sectors as well. However, the situation remains terrible despite his dishing out nearly Rs. 500 billion in clearing circular debt, which has again reached a substantial figure. And despite installed capacity of electric generation being more than peak demand, he concentrated on enhancing generation and started new projects without thorough vetting. Now we are being told that even an increase in generation will not bring much relief because transmission lines can not handle more than 15,000 MW. It has also been revealed that the railways lack capacity to handle the transport of the required amount of imported coal from port to various cities in Punjab where many coal-fired power stations are being set up instead of the sensible choice of building them all near the port. If this was his idea of making railways profitable by giving it regular business of transporting coal then he should have concentrated on enhancing the carrying capacity of the railways instead of coming up with the plans of a wide network of motorways in the country. The fact is that major projects involving substantial capital outlays are being decided in an off-hand manner, without being discussed and vetted at relevant forums. And in contravention of laid-down rules and procedures, favourites are being appointed heads of state-owned entities to facilitate the sale of even profitable units below true values to perhaps nominees of relatives and business associates. So, if Nawaz Sharif government managed to complete its full term, we will be left with vastly increased debts and a much reduced repayment capacity because even revenue-earning enterprises would have been sold off and the proceeds squandered on prestigious projects.
I hope the all-powerful final arbiters step in and persuade Nawaz Sharif and Company to make a mutually-beneficial decision, which would be their saying goodbye to us soonest possible.