- Fazl says will stage ‘upsized sit-in’ if democracy is derailed
- Mahmood Khan Achakzai says parliament must remain in session till the fight between ‘democratic and undemocratic forces’ continues
The National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday was unanimous in defending the sanctity of the parliament and constitution and reposed confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Speaking in the National Assembly on a motion moved to discuss the political situation in the country, legislators from the treasury and opposition benches strongly condemned the “adventures” of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman said, “Those trying to find a backdoor to power corridors should know if they derail democracy, I will stage a bigger sit-in against them and not let them work for even a single day.”
He said that all democratic forces stand united against the undemocratic moves and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should categorically announce that he will not resign and stand firm to save democracy.
“We shall fight for democracy and supremacy of the parliament.”
He said protests are democratic right of political forces but no unconstitutional demands can be accepted.
“Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chairman Tahirul Qadri states that the parliament is fake. He is backed by western, international and other unseen forces who want to trample upon democracy in Pakistan.”
Rehman said all religio-political parties strongly believe in the supremacy of the constitution and parliament.
He asked the parliament to make certain laws for the future and decide about the sanctity of the federal capital because it is not acceptable that any leader with a few thousand followers can lay siege to Islamabad and tarnish the country’s image worldwide.
“We are not afraid of their demands. We are not afraid of their protests. These are simply bubbles and will burst within a couple of days,” said Fazl.
PPP MNA Shazia Marri said that no one will be allowed to undermine the authority of the parliament or abuse the constitution. She said that the PTI chairman is talking about civil disobedience while PTI is part of a coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Pakistan Milli Awami Party Chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai said the parliament must remain in session till the fight between democratic and undemocratic forces is on. He asked the PM not to resign and instead answer the protesting parties’ leadership from the Parliament.
Taking part in the discussion, Maulana Jamaluddin called upon PAT and PTI not to use women and children as human shields.
Obaidullah Shadikhel said a strategy should be devised to tackle the situation and prevent recurrence of such “dramas”.
MQM’s Abdul Rashid Godil appreciated the government for removing hurdles and allowing the protesters to enter Islamabad’s Red Zone.
“Dialogue is the only way to resolve the issue but the dialogue should be held within the parameters set by the constitution,” he said.
Sher Akbar Khan urged the protesting parties to end their sit-ins “which have caused losses of billions of rupees to the country”.
He asked the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice of the “unlawful activities” in the Red Zone, while demanding the government to abolish the dual nationality of Qadri.
Ejaz Hussain Jakhrani urged the PTI chief to give reasons to justify his demands, adding that the government and opposition should sit together and find a solution to the crisis.
“It is the beauty of democracy that the protesting parties have entered the Red Zone without any bloodshed,” he said.
He criticised PAT chief Qadri for using his religious followers in politics.
The House will meet again today (Thursday) at 11am.