ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Tuesday announced setting up of a three-member judicial commission comprising three judges of the Supreme Court for an independent probe into the allegations of rigging in the 2013 general elections.
Addressing the nation on radio and television, the prime minister dismissed the allegations levelled by the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of rigging in the elections in which the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) won a heavy mandate. He said after this step there is no justification for any long march, protest or agitation on the issue and nothing more can be done with sincerity in this regard. He said his government was requesting the chief justice of Pakistan to set up the said commission for a thorough investigation. The prime minister said allegations without any solid proof were challenging the democratic system and an atmosphere of uncertainty was being created.
“Pakistan’s reputation, national economy and political stability are being put at stake.” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, “I have an agenda of national prosperity and I do not want chaos and anarchy to have any negative impact on the way to its implementation.” “Is there any justification of any protest after this? I leave the answer to you,” he added. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the mandate given by the people of Pakistan to his party could not be hijacked. “We believe in democracy. Peaceful protest is the right of everyone, but I wish to make it clear that Pakistan is a state with its constitution, law and democracy.”
“Insha Allah, we with the support of the 180 million people of Pakistan, will not let any harm come to the constitutional, democratic character of the country.” “No one will be allowed to spread anarchy, to challenge the constitution, or to let loose its gangs of goons, to hold the state system hostage, or to openly preach terrorism, and incite people to decapitate in the garb of religion,” the prime minister categorically stated. He said a nation that was fighting a decisive battle against extremism and terrorism, would not allow anarchy, chaos and civil war under any new form.
“No disruptive elements would be given the right to sabotage the ongoing projects worth billions of dollars on energy, infrastructure and national development to be ravaged and to push the country back to an era of poverty and deprivation.” “We will not allow Pakistan to become a jungle where the law of ‘might is right’ holds vogue. “We will not let a handful of elements hold hostage the mandate of millions of people of Pakistan,” said the prime minister. Nawaz said the media has played a historic role for the supremacy of democracy, freedom of speech and independence of judiciary.
He said it also rendered sacrifices for the sacred mission and the whole nation also appreciated their role in this regard, he remarked. “But on this occasion, I request the media to review their role during the ongoing political confrontation. They themselves should decide whether the media freedom was being used by some elements to achieve their extremist and unconstitutional agenda.” Prime Minister Nawaz said he believed that the media, which had been pursuing noble traditions, would play the role of fourth pillar of the state in true spirit for the supreme national interests.
The prime minister recalled the political scenario in which the 2002 and 2008 general elections were held and to what extent those were free and fair. “We were not allowed to return to the country for seven years. The PML-N contested the 2002 elections during our exile and the party was limited to a mere one and a half dozen seats. Despite this we played our democratic role with steadfastness,” he added. Nawaz Sharif said his as well as his brother’s nomination papers were rejected in the 2008 elections and he could not become the member of National Assembly.
But, he said, his party showed tolerance and did not raise hue and cry of rigging nor lodged any complaint. Referring to the 2013 general elections, the prime minister said it was for the first time that the polls were held under the supervision of a chief election commissioner who was appointed with consensus and the caretaker governments were installed according to the new constitutional amendments.
* Nawaz says his vision for region is of a ‘dispute-free South Asia’ ...