–Asif says his party will go to ‘great lengths if sanctity of Sharif family’s residence is violated’
–Violent protesters outside Avenfield residence of Sharif family demand recovery of ‘looted wealth’
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif on Monday announced that his party has decided not to participate in legislation on any amendment, and on the matter of appointment of members and chief of the Election Commission in wake of the violent protest outside the Avenfield residence of the Sharif family in London the other day.
Warned the government that his party will go to great lengths if the sanctity of Sharif family’s residence or that of any other opposition leader is violated, Asif said that the protest, reportedly carried out by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters, had compelled the PML-N to rethink its decision on participating in the legislation process.
Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak had said on Sunday that the CEC and members of the ECP will be appointed until Wednesday.
The defence minister had said that the government had not talked to the opposition regarding the legislation for the extension of army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
“The government will talk to the opposition once the detailed verdict is issued,” he said.
Speaking on the floor of the House on Monday, Khawaja Asif said that a mob attempted to attack former premier Nawaz Sharif. “This has never happened in the past but it would soon become a tradition if we allow such acts to take place,” he added.
Asif said that his party does not want a political animosity into a personal one and will give a befitting reply if something happens to Nawaz.
Continuing his criticism of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, he said that such things were introduced into the political culture during the last four to five years. “We are being given a message of war but we will not instruct our workers to stage demonstrations outside anyone’s home and I will reveal the names of those protested in London when the time comes,” he added.
The former foreign minister further said that the party supremo went to London with approval from the judiciary and not with the government’s consent.
Taking the floor of the House after Asif, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf echoed the PML-N leader’s warning, saying such actions could change the politics of the country.
Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said the government condemned the violent protest outside Avenfield flats.
He distanced the PTI from Sunday’s incident, but asked Asif to explain why the Sharif family was living in a property that they had earlier denied of being in their ownership.
Saeed also accused Asif and other opposition leaders of working in UAE on ‘Iqama’ during their ministerial tenures.
The House was later adjourned till Tuesday.
VIOLENT PROTEST OUTSIDE AVENFIELD FLATS:
It is pertinent to mention here that a protest was held outside the Avenfield residence of the Sharif family on Sunday to demand recovery of “looted wealth”.
According to reports, the mastermind of the protest was a certain Chaudhry Tariq Mehmood, who had used WhatsApp groups to call upon people to gather outside the apartments where the former premier Nawaz Sharif is currently staying.
According to details, around 40 protesters, led by Tariq Mehmood who runs a group called ‘Pakistan Patriotic Front’, raised slogans in support of the ruling PTI and many were wearing PTI caps.
Reports claim that many of the protesters, who were present outside Avenfield flats, are seen often at the PTI protests earlier, but the party’s elected body has issued a statement distancing itself from the protest.
One of the protesters can be heard shouting in the video that “some shoot him” in reference to former prime minister’s presence on the third floor in Avenfield flats and slogans for Taliban style bombing of the Avenfield apartments were also made during the protest.
Video footage from the protest also shows at least three protesters banging the front gate in order to break down while two protesters entered premises from the side entrance and they were asked by the police to come out.
In a statement, PML-N had said that the protesters, who made “violent threats”, had been reported to the police.
“Mehmood had issued violent threats of entering the property by force, which is an offence, and the police had been informed. We have also told the police that Tariq Mehmood has relations with an extremist group and he is known for issuing threats to community members,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by a local news outlet.
According to a media report, Mehmood had also been linked to Musharraf’s All Pakistan Muslim League (APML), Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), and former Sindh interior minister Zulfiqar Mirza.
Last year, a few enraged demonstrators tried to enter the residence of the PML-N leaders by knocking down the door. The police were called on the sight to disperse the protesters while a number of PTI and PML-N supporters were taken into custody over their clashes.