Few thousand people not hold hostage public mandate: PM

LAHORE - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said that a few thousand people gathered before the Parliament House, could not hold hostage the mandate, given by millions of people to the government.

“Few thousand people have gathered in Islamabad and are asking the government, with the mandate by millions of people, to wind up, dissolve assemblies and hold fresh elections. Is it not a step against democracy,” he said talking to private TV channel.

The prime minister visited the residence of renowned journalist Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami to condole the demise of his sister. “In a resolution, the opposition and the allied parties have committed not to tolerate any step against the democracy,” he said.

The prime minister expressed the optimism that this tumultuous situation would end up within few days. He said that the government had accepted all demands of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) except one, related to the reforms and also requested the Supreme Court of Pakistan to constitute a commission to probe into alleged poll riggings.

“Everything will be exposed before the public. We will respect any decision by the commission,” he said. “Unfortunately, the situation has harmed the country's development process and public prosperity. But, it will be retrieved soon and the country will regain its development course,” he added.

The prime minister said that the presidents of Maldives and Sri Lanka had already cancelled their visits to Pakistan. He said that the Chinese president was due in Pakistan and various power projects would be executed with Chinese cooperation.

Nawaz Sharif said that genuine demands including democratic reforms and a commission on alleged poll riggings had been fulfilled. But they had been demanding his resignation, dissolution of the National Assembly and even the provincial assemblies which were not even under his purview.

He said that it was strange that during his visit to Imran Khan in Bani Gala, everything was discussed openly. But he did not know why PTI chief Imran Khan, Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahirul Qadri and other parties decided to march to Islamabad on the same day.

To a question, he said that the government was striving to resolve the matter amicably as it had already spent several days on the dialogue process. He said that the lawful demands of the PTI were already accepted.

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