PPP will no more be a ‘friendly’ opposition

* Khurshid Shah advises PML-N to urgently restart dialogue with other political forces to save democratic system * PPP demands parliament’s joint session on Article 245

SUKKUR/ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Saturday announced to end its role of ‘friendly opposition’ in the parliament.
“We would now act as the opposition and not as the friendly opposition... in order to save parliamentary democracy,” leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Ahmed Shah told a private TV channel on Saturday.
Shah slammed the government for invoking Article 245 of the constitution – which it has employed to deploy the army in the federal capital – and termed it “a political blunder” by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“Neither the parliament, nor the political parties were taken into confidence over a decision as important as this,” Shah said.
“An in-camera joint session of the parliament should have been called before invoking this article,” he remarked.
He said the prevailing political situation had led the government to behave in a confused manner, adding that it had also closed dialogue with other political forces, a situation that was “resulting in chaos”. “The government should urgently restart dialogue with varying political forces; otherwise I fear that the democratic system may be jeopardised,” Shah warned.
Meanwhile, the PPP demanded holding a joint session of the parliament on the government’s decision to hand over the security of the federal capital to the military.
Talking to the media on Saturday, PPP leader Senator Raza Rabbani said the PML-N government should explain to the parliament why Article 245 had been imposed in the capital with effect from Friday (August 1). 
Rabbani said that Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan only informed the lawmakers that some politicians and important installations were under threat, but did not give any details in this regard. He said that imposition of Article 245 was a ‘big’ decision and the parliament should be briefed on the matter. “We want the government to come clean on this issue,” he said. 

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