Opp urges for dialogue, says internal discord will harm country


Opposition leaders have condemned the clash between Pakistan Army and protesters in North Waziristan, saying the state should opt for dialogue if there’s disagreement instead of resorting to violence.

In a series of tweets on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) official handle, party president Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incident and said all facts should be presented before parliament.  He said political dialogue should be utilised if there’s disagreement as guns can’t resolve issues.

He said these internal discord will benefit the enemies of Pakistan. He also prayed for the wounded and “martyrs”.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said lives of all Pakistani citizens and all facts should be presented before the nation if someone’s blood is spilt [in the name of security].

Referring to the reported clash between the army and protesters, she said there were Pakistani citizens on both sides, urging all stakeholders –media, politicians and state institutions– to act responsibly for the sake of the country. She also echoed her party president’s words that the country could not afford internal conflict at present.

She said the use of force was not an option and asked hadn’t Pakistan already paid a huge price for suppressing dissent.

Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari raised doubts on the ISPR version of the incident, saying it was beyond understanding why an elected lawmaker would lead an attack on an army checkpost.

Addressing a press conference in Larkana, he condemned the violence that led to the loss of lives.

“How can Mohsin Dawar attack a check post? He is an elected representative! It would not make sense for an elected representative to initiate such an attack. While I condemn the attack, I must also add that peaceful protesting is every citizen’s right,” he said.

“I have been saying since day one that you may disagree with them [PTM], you can diagree with their point of view 100 per cent, you can argue with them. But, if you will not engage with the young politicians who come from a place such as Fata, if you will not attempt to reduce their grievances or justify their misperceptions, then we have all seen what used to happen during the Musharraf era in Balochistan. We have all seen what happened with Bangladesh, with East Pakistan, following Ayub Khan’s dictatorship. And now, if we will label our own citizens, our own children, our own politicians traitors when they talk about rights, democracy, civil rule of law, then we will set ourselves on a very dangerous path,” warned Bilawal.

Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP) chief Akhtar Mengal condemned the attack on his twitter handle.

“[I] strongly condemn the attack on workers today. Attacking a peaceful demonstration is in no way acceptable. Violence should not be used to scare those who use peaceful ways to protest,” he said.




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