As the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) prepares to implement its call for a country-wide shutter-down on December 18, the government has warned it will not tolerate any attempt to paralyse national life.
“We have very patiently dealt with [the PTI] protests and sit-ins so far, but now it is about time to differentiate between peaceful democratic protests and civil disobedience,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said in an official statement.
He said there is no room for any protest, which causes blockade of roads and closure of business, in any democratic country across the world. “Neither, it can be allowed to paralyse the life of ordinary citizens, anywhere,” he added
Nisar said if any particular party has some reservations, then they have all the right to plead their case in the court of law. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is available for any such support and cooperation, which results in the country’s progression and helps in peace making, he said.
The interior minister said political leaders should not only advocate the spirit of democracy and law in speeches, but their action should also reflect this spirit.
“To achieve political stability in the country, all the political parties have to sit together,” he added.
According to sources, Nisar conveyed this message to the PTI chairman Imran Khan through Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq, who met him at Punjab House in Islamabad on Monday.
Chaudhry Nisar, on the wish of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, also requested Siraj to convince Imran Khan to call off his countrywide protest on December 18, added the sources.
Sirajul Haq assured the interior minister that he, in his upcoming meeting with the PTI chief likely be held tomorrow (Wednesday), will try to convince him to leave the path of protests for better political stability, added the sources.
The JI amir also assured him that his party will not join hands with the PTI in this countrywide call for protest, sources close to both the JI and the PML-N revealed.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2014.