Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Saturday that march calls had lacked popular support.
He was speaking to a delegation of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz lawmakers. Sharif said Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri had joined hands to derail democracy. He said their conspiracies against democracy would be foiled. Sharif said Khan’s demand for the establishment of a technocrat government violated court rulings. The chief minister said the demands of the PTI and the PAT were unconstitutional. He said democracy was the future of Pakistan. Sharif said political differences had to be resolved through dialogue and mutual respect.
The chief minister said Imran Khan was disappointed after the Azadi March had failed to elicit popular support. He said the public would not allow anyone to impede the progress and prosperity of the country. Sharif said the public had given a mandate to the PML-N in the last elections. He said self-anointed revolutionaries were bringing the country into disrepute with their actions.
The chief minister said the people were aware who had been serving them selflessly and who had been trying to spread anarchy. He said the long march had been held to divide the nation at a time when the army was fighting terrorists in North Waziristan. Sharif said unity was the need of the hour. He said Pakistan could not afford agitational politics at this juncture.
He said economic activities had been imperilled by the marches. S
harif said friendly countries had been perturbed over the political situation.
The chief minister said those creating anarchy in the country apparently could not stomach the idea of a prosperous and progressive Pakistan.
He urged Khan to show flexibility. The chief minister said negative political attitudes were jeopardising national stability and democracy. He said conspiracies against democracy would be foiled through national unity. The chief minister said the energy of the public should be directed towards overcoming challenges facing Pakistan rather than staging protest demonstrations.
Sharif said those who had wanted to divide the nation on August 14 had wanted to deprive the public of joy of independence.
Sharif said those conspiring against democracy would be left disappointed. The chief minister said using women and children as shields was neither politics nor humanity.
He said certain forces supporting the Inqilab March had squandered public finances and had rendered Pakistan bankrupt under the patronage of a dictator. The chief minister said that a revolution could not be brought about by collaborating with thieves and robbers. He said while people had been sacrificing their lives for the future of Pakistan on one hand, some people had been conspiring to destabilise the country through confrontational politics. He said the timely completion of development projects had left the protesting forces disturbed.
Sharif said his PML-N government had served the public for the past six years and it would overcome the challenge with the support of the public.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2014.