Hashmi pledges all-out support to Nawaz for sake of democracy

* PTI leader says he will fight out conspiracies against parliament till he is alive * Criticises ‘irresponsible’ journalism, wants media to observe limits

ISLAMABAD: Vowing to fight for the cause of democracy until the last drop of his blood, veteran politician Javed Hashmi on Wednesday extended all-out support to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for continuity of the democratic system.
Javed Hashmi of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which is all set to launch a campaign against alleged riggings in the general polls last year, which brought Nawaz Sharif to power, however justified his party’ planned agitation, saying that the PTI gave one year to the PML-N government to improve the things, which he opined have turned from bad to worse. In his long speech spanning over almost an hour, Hashmi spoke extensively on various issues, including attack on Hamid Mir, controversy involving ISI and role of media.
Hashmi vowed to counter the conspiracies against parliament and vowed to fight them till he is alive. “We will stand with Nawaz Sharif for the sake of democracy,” he stated. About the media-ISI controversy, Hashmi sounded critical and specially targeted what he termed irresponsible journalism in the country. He said media is indulging in mudslinging and personal attacks against the elected representatives.
“There must some limits on freedom of press and it should not be allowed to malign whoever it wants to do,” Hashmi criticised an Urdu columnist, Hassan Nisar, for attacking him personally when he announced to support democracy. Each and everyone, he added, should work under the ambit of law and constitution and said that even the army and its institutions are bound to function under this ambit. “I will have no relation with those who go against the constitution,” he stated categorically.
About the ISI,Hashmi said that Pakistan’s location and conditions in the region over the years gave the intelligence agency a key role. However, it is also required to operate under the ambit of law, he said. He called upon on what he labelled as “people of pen” and “people holding the guns” to act responsibly. He expressed surprise over the contention of one media group that it did nothing wrong by flashing the photos of ISI chief for eight hours after Hamid Mir was attacked.
“You kept on airing his photos for hours and now you want that no one ask you about it!” Hashmi remarked and said that there should be some rules and regulations. Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, taking the floor, said that the PTI supports democracy on one hand and on the other hand resorts to agitation which, he said, is beyond comprehension. He believed that agitation on such a crucial moment provides people opportunity to say that it is being done on the whims of someone else.
Responding to Hashmi’s remarks about some in the government ranks who supported dictators, he said that what to talk about others, even the head of his (Hashmi’s) party, Imran Khan, once favoured a dictator. Rana also expressed support for the freedom of press, but suggested it should at least make itself accountable by placing restrictions on itself to check insult of elected representatives and others. While talking about attack on Hamid Mir, Jamaat-e-Islami’s parliamentary leader Sahibzada Tariqullah objected to labelling anyone as traitor and said such labels were also given in the past.
He urged that a judicial commission should probe the matter and present the report to the nation to make the matters crystal clear. Earlier, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmakers walked out from the session against the continued killing and abduction of party workers and deplored that their pleas for justice have so far been fallen on deaf ears.
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq on Tuesday said PTI Chairman Imran Khan wants to bring the courts under pressure by staging a sit-in. Speaking to media outside the Parliament House, Saad said that if decisions were in favour of Imran Khan then he would have been happy otherwise he calls judiciary corrupt. He reminded Imran Khan that judicial officers were appointed as returning officer on his pressure, as the then chief justice had refused to do so. “Imran Khan changes his viewpoint on a daily basis, which is not a sign of a leader,” he stated. 

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