Call to end sit-ins in Islamabad


KARACHI: Some civil society members on Tuesday demanded end of sit-ins in Islamabad and said that those refusing to end their protests were calling for use of power from the government to get people’s sympathy.
They expressed their concerns on the situation emerging in Islamabad due to the violence-prone protest demonstrations being staged by the two political parties.
Speaking at a press conference along with PPP leader Habib Junaidi and other civil society members, PILER chief Karamat Ali said that no one was allowed to ridicule the national institutions and if a way to parliament was blocked, then a solution to it should be found.
He said that these protests were a deliberate attempt to detract the democratic process in the country and an attempt to put real issues on the back burner.
“It is our considered opinion that the real issue today is to create the conditions necessary to guarantee free, fair and transparent elections leading to the emergence of a parliament and other elected bodies that not only represent every section of the people but also fully reflected their hopes and aspirations.”
He said that parliament had already established a parliamentary committee for electoral reforms consisting of representatives of all political parties having their presence in parliament and it was now an urgent need that this committee should start working immediately to bring more credibility to the electoral system.
“We strongly feel that parliament is the right forum to discuss all proposals about electoral reforms,” he said, adding that the parliamentary committee had already invited proposals in this regard from all civil society groups, political parties, academia and other concerned segments of the society. 
“In our view, the current protest in Islamabad, which is obviously an attempt to undermine the democratic process, will render itself irrelevant, once the parliamentary committee starts functioning.”
Speaking on the occasion, SZABIST Social Sciences head, Dr Riaz Ahmed, said that the present turmoil was a calculated attempt to destabilise the democratic process in the country.
“All the political and civil society forces should join hands to foil it. We also feel that those who have created law and order problem in Islamabad and are encouraging the protestors to damage state symbols should be prosecuted as per the law of the land.”
The civil society activists condemned the attack on PTV head office in Islamabad. 
They also welcomed Javed Hashmi’s stance for the protection of democracy in the country.
Trade Union leader Saleha Athar, Habibuddin Junaidi, Jai Parkash and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s Asad Butt, also attended the press conference NOW Communities’ Mir Zulfiqar Ali, SPO’s Ellahi Bukhsh and others.

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