‘Few thousand people cannot hold hostage public mandate’

* PM says govt has accepted all demands of PTI related to reforms and has requested to SC to probe into alleged poll rigging

LAHORE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday said a few thousand people could not hold hostage the mandate given by millions of people to the government.
He said, “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 not it a step against democracy,” he told a private TV channel.
Nawaz visited the residence of veteran journalist Mujeebur Rehman Shami to condole the demise of his sister. He said, “In a resolution, the opposition and the allied parties have committed not to tolerate any step against the democracy.” He hoped that this tumultuous situation would end up within few days. Nawaz said the government had accepted all demands of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, related to the reforms and also requested the Supreme Court to form a commission to probe into alleged poll riggings. 
“Everything will be exposed before the public. We will respect any decision by the commission,” he added.
He said, “Unfortunately, the situation has harmed country’s development process and public prosperity. But it will be retrieved soon and the country will regain its development course.” The PM said the presidents of the Maldives and Sri Lanka had already cancelled their visits to Pakistan. He said the Chinese president was due in Pakistan and various power projects would be executed with Chinese cooperation.
“But this may also face impediment,” he feared.
He said it was strange that during his visit to Imran Khan’s house in Bani Gala, everything was discussed openly. But he did not know why Imran Khan, Tahirul Qadri and other parties decided to march to Islamabad on the same day, he added.
Meanwhile, PM’s Political Secretary Asif Kirmani said that there was no question of the PM’s resignation or proceeding on leave. He said no one from the government side has given this suggestion. He said that the people, civil society, lawyers, clerics, parliament and all political parties were standing with the constitution and democracy. Kirmani said that Nawaz Sharif a majority in parliament. 

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