ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in the National Assembly on Tuesday lashed out at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) for what they believed was their promotion of political terrorism in the country through their sit-ins.
In a lacklustre session of the assembly with absence of key leadership from the front benches, the backbenchers seized the opportunity to vent out their anger against Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri when the House resumed the debate on the fragile political situation of the country. The PTI’s legislators kept away from the proceedings after the party announced to resign from the National Assembly and provincial assemblies of Punjab and Sindh.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Imran Zafar Leghari said that if the democratic system was derailed, people would lose their trust in power of vote, and pointed out that there are some elements who do not want democracy to flourish in Pakistan. “It seems that the PTI and PAT are working on a specific agenda to destabilise the country,” he said while condemning the civil disobedience movement announced by Imran Khan. “Who will bear expenses of the Operation Zarb-e-Azab if people do not pay taxes,” he questioned.
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Mian Abdul Mannan said tax payers have rejected the call of PTI chairman for civil disobedience and felt that it is not the matter of four constituencies rather the protesting parties are working against the process of development and progress in the country. He dubbed both Imran and Qadri as foreign agents and said that their protests and sit-ins have caused Rs 500 billion financial loss to the country.
Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Part’sy (PkMAP) Abdul Rahim Mandokhel said it is the responsibility of the government and the opposition parties to protect the constitution and parliament and said a few thousand people are talking about revolution. JUI-F’s Maulana Ameer Zaman called KP chief minister’s protest against prime minister unconstitutional and urged action against the protesters who are talking against the constitution and parliament while sitting in the capital.
Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Ayesha Syed stressed the need for resolution of problems through parliament. She said we should work for supremacy of the constitution and progress of the country and counter every effort which is against the constitution and the democracy. PPP’s Shahida Rehmani described the protest marches as a big conspiracy against democracy and demanded that action should be taken against PTI leadership for not safeguarding the constitution under which they have taken oath.
PML-N’s Kiran Haider deplored that language being used by the leaders of protesting parties was bad. PkMAP’s Abdul Qahar Wadan said it is the beauty of democracy that Azadi and Inqlab marches are being held in the capital. Such things could not happen in dictatorship. He said the demands of protesting parties are undemocratic and unconstitutional. PPP’s Kamal Khan Chang said places should be specified in every city for protests and sit-ins. He said efforts should be made to hold dialogue with the protesting parties for resolving the situation. However, if they are not ready for dialogue then action should be taken against them to implement the writ of the law.
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