Opposition warns govt not to take corrosive measures, show maturity

“We do not want to save anyone but wanted to strengthen the democracy and Parliament,” says leader of the...

Qamar Zaman August 07, 2014

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.


Lolz | 9 years ago | Reply

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.....

Blues | 9 years ago | Reply

ET.......it should be "coercive measures" NOT "corrosive measure"......please correct

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ