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Opp lambasts govt for ‘requesting’ army to mediate on crisis

* Shah tells Nawaz not to make ‘compromise’ on constitution and democracy


ISLAMABAD: Leader of the opposition in National Assembly Khursheed Shah on Friday stole the show in the House with his outburst against mediation of army in the ongoing political crisis.
He received an overwhelming reception. “Burn the parliament, Supreme Court, secretariat and even Islamabad if you want to do so; but we will not allow you to harm the constitution,” an otherwise calm and mild Shah thundered when he spoke in the house over the unfolding events in the political scenario in the country. “The impression that began to emerge since late Thursday is a dangerous one,” Shah pointed out by referring to the statements of Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had requested army chief to mediate. 
“I suggest that the ISPR owes the people of this country a clarification over those who are playing this game of terror in the name of democracy and had called them to mediate,” Shah said to resounding desk-thumping in the House. He said that the democratic people could not sleep the whole night when they heard about army’s mediation on the request of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. “Mian Sahab, do not make a compromise on constitution and democracy and take a stand,” Shah said while expressing full support to him for the cause of democracy. 
Shah vowed to stand against threats to democracy even if the government gave in to pressure. He said that the Pakistan Army is a national institution and everyone respects it, but it is meant for protecting the frontiers of the country. He, however, urged ISPR to issue a press release clarifying that army decided to mediate in the crisis on the request of Imran Khan and Qadri. He emphasised they were democrats who have rendered a series of sacrifices for democracy, and added that the supporters of PTI and PAT may burn down parliament and the capital if they want to but “would not break our resolve for democracy”. 
Khursheed Shah said that the opposition firmly stood by the recently adopted resolution which calls for safeguarding parliament and democracy from disruptive forces. Meanwhile, Mahmood Khan Ackakzai, chief of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) said that he was hurt after watching the news on media that Prime Minister Nawaz had requested army for mediation. Expressing full support to Khursheed Shah, Achakzai also resolved to protect democracy and constitution in the country and suggested that a joint session of parliament should be convened to discuss this situation. He, however, regretted that what the government explained in the House today (Friday) should have been shared with parliament a day earlier to put an end to controversies. 

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