ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid said on Sunday that nobody except terrorists should be worried about invoking Article 245 as the article would be invoked in the backdrop of handling terrorist threats in the country.
In an interview the minister said that the Article 245 had nothing to do with political activities in the country. To a question he said that the people of Pakistan were not worried about the day of August 14 as it was the day of independence of the country, rather they were worried because they consider long marches and protest rallies as a hurdle in way of progress of the country.
“The masses believe that at a time when efforts are being made to overcome energy crisis and economy has been put back on track, protest marches will prove a stumbling block in the development process”, he added.
To another question, he said that Pakistan Army was playing its constitutional role and defending it against internal and external threats. He said that Army would be deployed at important buildings and defence installations and Article 245 was meant to provide legal cover to it.
He said that Article 245 was also being invoked as terrorists had threatened to invade the Capital city of the country. He said that in the National Assembly session being held in the first week of August, PPP’s reservations about invoking Article 245 would be addressed.
To a question he said that provincial governments too can summon army in support of the civil administration if needed, as protection of people lives was first and foremost responsibility of the state. He said that the government opted for political options from day one, when despite having the numbers, the PML-N did not form governments in KPK and Balochistan.
He said Nawaz Sharif personally went to inquire about Imran Khan’s health, and stopped his election campaign on the day Imran Khan fell from the crane while most of Khan sahib’s present allies did not bother to do the same. Moreover, he said Prime Minister’s Bani Gala visit and PM’s letter to the Speaker National Assembly for formation of election reforms committee were also part of the political options.
“All these steps are sufficient to prove that the PML-N wants to resolve all problems through political means”, he added.
Senator Pervaiz Rashid urged Imran Khan to come to the upcoming session of the National Assembly and give his proposals for improvement in the system and that the PTI members should come to the electoral reforms committee to give their suggestions.
The minister said that no rigging was done in the 2013 general elections as reputed international election observers had stated that the 2013 elections were more transparent and fair than any elections held in the past and among these organisations included PILDAT, FAFEN and UNDP.
He said that electoral reforms committee would have enough time as next general elections will be held after four years. The committee must ensure that the next elections were held in free, fair and more transparent manner as compared to the past.
Moreover, he said that consensus will have to be reached in this committee as it was representing all parties in the parliament. Imran Khan should understand that if there was no parliament, there would be anarchy in the country and no institution will hold the elections, the minister added. He said at a time when economy was improving and Armed Forces were fighting against terrorists in North Waziristan, Tahirul Qadri who cannot become member of the Parliament in the wake of Supreme Court order for having dual nationality was raising slogans of revolution and trying to make the present democratically elected set up controversial.
He asked Imran Khan to come to next session of the Assembly so that the government could respond to his questions and he could reply to treasury benches questions.
Pervaiz Rashid said that all parties in Parliament had consensus on the exercise of democratic right of peaceful protest, but if Imran Khan takes any undemocratic step they would not support.
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