Talking points: Senate takes up PTI, PAT marches

Raja Zafarul Haq terms Imran’s civil disobedience movement a threat to the state

Peer Muhammad August 20, 2014


Senators from the Awami National Party (ANP) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) moved a motion to discuss the current political situation in the country at a session on Tuesday. Various dimensions of the current scenario were addressed with a view to providing solutions.

Musharraf factor

Leader of the Upper House, Raja Zafarul Haq, said on Tuesday that Pervez Musharraf’s supporters are only participating in the anti-government marches to secure a safe passage for the former military ruler to go abroad.

During the Senate proceedings, he said Musharraf’s friends – who are now participants of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri’s sit-in – are working towards providing him with a safe passage at any cost.

Civil disobedience

Raja Zafarul Haq also termed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s announcement of a civil disobedience movement a move that threatens sovereignty of the state. He added that a readymade script had been given to Imran Khan which did not permit him to negotiate with the government.

The leader of the Upper House praised the contribution of opposition leaders in trying to safeguard the democratic process at a time when the PTI and PAT marches have caused the political situation to escalate.

“The demands of both parties are increasing with the passage of time and it is becoming difficult for the government to meet them,” he said.

Process of negotiation

Furthermore, he lamented the fact that Imran was averse to conducting negotiations. He mentioned that the prime minister had visited the PTI chief’s house in Bani Gala to engage in dialogue. However, no agreement could be reached.

PPP Senator Raza Rabbani said the government should have adopted a serious approach to the political crisis from the outset. The situation could have been averted if timely steps were taken.

The PPP senator added that it was unsuitable for the PTI leadership to show no confidence in parliament.

“As members of the upper house, we send a clear message that if anybody engages in adventurism against democracy and the parliament, all political forces will stand against this move.”

MQM Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan highlighted the importance of engaging in negotiations. Senator Kalsoom Parveen suggested that a negotiation team needs to be developed.

PML-N Senator Rafiq Rajwana urged the PTI to concentrate on making Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa a model province.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th,2014.

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