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Civil society denounces Imran Khan’s civil disobedience call

* PILER chief says country not in a position to face consequences of any adventurism

KARACHI: Civil Society organisations on Monday denounced the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announcement for civil disobedience movement and said the step would badly affect the economic situation of the country.
Addressing a press conference along with PPP leader Latif Mughal, educationist Dr Riaz Shaikh and others, PILER chief Karamat Ali said that the civil society had agreed on the consensus that the country was not in a position to face any kind of adventurism amidst the current economic conditions.
Economic conditions do not allow any kind of adventurism in Pakistan and announcement made by the PTI chief for civil disobedience and asking people to refrain from paying taxes would not only affect the economic conditions of the country but also the labourers who earn on daily basis, he said. 
Karamat also rejected calls for national unity government for three years in the country and said that there was no need for such government in the presence of a government having two-third majority in the assembly. 
He condemned the ongoing sit-ins in Islamabad and said that it had not only stalled the everyday governance of the state but was directly challenging the political choice and the system of democracy that the people of Pakistan had achieved after so much sacrifice. 
Karamat said that the civil society of Pakistan along with trade unions, academicians, student community and professional societies strongly condemned the undemocratic approach adopted by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek, and their allies. 
We strongly denounce any deliberate attempt to derail the democratic process in the country. It is unfortunate that these parties are inciting people to resort to violence and defy the rule of law through following on their so-called civil disobedience, setting a negative culture of political confrontation and rebellion against the state over non-issues, he said. 
The PILER chief said that they were of the view that all issues ought to be debated upon in the parliament and solved politically. 
Any lapse in existing electoral system can be discussed in the recently-constituted Electoral Reforms Committee of the parliament in which all political parties, including the PTI has due representation, he said adding that people of Pakistan would never allow democratic process to roll back in the country.
Karamat said that democracy has not been allowed to flourish in this country by forces committed to keeping Pakistanis in a dark age where they are unable to seek their political, economic and cultural rights by way of civil and political engagement. 
These forces have either sought to rule the people directly or have intervened in the democratic process covertly or overtly. Their actions have unnecessary created and kept the country, its people, and its resources, engaged in regional and global conflicts.
He said that it was the right of all political entities to protest and conduct political campaigning to promote their legitimate agendas but no one could be given the right to derail the democratic process in the country. 
The statement was endorsed by Karamat Ali (Peace and Civil Society Activist, PILER), Dr Riaz Shaikh (Educationalist), Dr Anis Haroon (Women Rights Activist/ Civil Society Activist), Saeed Baloch (Peace Activist, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum), Habibuddin Junaidi (Trade Unionist, All Pakistan Trade Union Organisation), Maqtida Mansoor (Writer/ Columnist), Ishaq Mangrio (Journalist/ Writer), Zahida Detho (Women Rights Activist), Naghma Iqtidar (Youth Leader/ Student leader), Zulfiqar Shah (Minority Rights Activist/Human Rights Activist), Mahnaz Rahman (Civil Society Activist, Aurat Foundation), Qamar-ul-Hassan (Trade Unionists), Asad Iqbal Butt (Human Right Activist, HRCP), Adam Malik (Democracy and Peace Activist), Suleman G. Abro (Sindh Civil Society Activist), Ramzan Memon (Democracy and Peace Activist), Punhal Sario (Sindh Civil Society Activist), Mr. Zahid Farooq (Civil Society Activist), Rehana Yasmeen (Trade Union Activist), Wakeel Khan Swati (Democracy and peace activist), Lateef Mughal (Trade Unionist, Peoples Labour Federation), Shahla Rizwan (Trade Unionist), Shaikh Majeed (Trade Unionist) and Jannat Hussain (Trade Unionist). 

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