‘Reconciliatory politics on military courts has saved future’

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Zardari says military courts necessary to deal with terrorists but opposes their ‘unjust’ use

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday said that by supporting the formation of military courts his party has helped secure the lives of future generations. However, he added that the “unjustified” use of military courts will not be allowed.

Zardari said that terrorists could not be given a free hand and their elimination was a national requirement for which military courts were necessary.

“Through the 21st constitutional amendment, future generations have been saved. However, we will not allow the unjust use of military courts,” said the PPP leader during a meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-Quiad (PML-Q) President Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain and PML-Q Punjab President Chaudhary Pervez Elahi who called on him at Bilawal House.

During the meeting, the PML-Q leaders and Zardari discussed in detail the downstream effects of military courts.

Zardari said that his party helped save the country from a civil war by not lending support to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI’s) anti-government movement.

The former president also said that in the current situation, political parties along with state institutions need to work towards reconciliation, adding that “everyone should go beyond personal attacks in the interest of Pakistan”.

The apprehensions voiced by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman regarding military courts should be addressed shortly, Zardari opined.

Zardari said taking the oath of office during the tenure of General (r) Pervez Musharraf was a “necessity” at that time. PPP has always confronted dictatorship; it takes decisions in the interest of the country and not for assuming power, said the PPP co-chairaman.

Recently, the former president has said that his party would support the government’s counter-terrorism measures, including the establishment of military courts, going back on his earlier stance that under the new law on military courts one could not rule out the possibility of both him and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ending up behind bars.

He later had mollified his stand by demanding assurances that the new law would not be used against “any political party, scholar or journalist”.

PPP COMING BACK IN GAME:

Addressing PPP members at the meeting, Zardari announced that he would hold party meetings throughout Punjab after the weather improves and a formal scheduled in this regard would be announced soon.

He also announced that PPP would hold rallies in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa and other parts of Pakistan and directed the party’s district presidents to start organisational work at union-council level.

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