ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Thursday warned about a more fierce battle in the coming days and asked the parliamentarians not to be mistaken by the “partial victory” in the “first battle”.
The warning came from PPP’s stalwart Mian Raza Rabbani in the joint sitting of parliament in which he pointed out that this is a war of power between the state institutions. “I do not subscribe to the views expressed yesterday that parliament has emerged victorious,” Rabbani said while adding that the war would still be fought when some forces would try to create discord in the ranks of the democratic forces, an intention which he said they had exhibited in the current political crisis triggered by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT)’s protests outside the Parliament House.
He dubbed the “war of democracy” actually a “war of federation”. “If this system was disturbed and dictatorship is imposed, then not only would the constitution be violated but the whole federation would be at risk of dismemberment,” the outspoken Rabbani opined. Addressing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was present in the House, Rabbani declared that the PPP would not compromise even if he gave in to such pressures. Criticising the PTI and PAT, Rabbani said that parliament would not tolerate any assault on it. “The members of this House will lay down their lives but would not allow desecration of parliament,” he declared.
The PPP leader noted that after the abolishment of Article 58 2(B) through 18th Amendment, “hidden forces” have fielded proxies to destabilise the system. He accused the government of not taking parliament seriously. “Conspiracies will be hatched when the prime minister and ministers do not come to parliament,” he observed in reference to the propensity of PM Nawaz and his ministers to remain absent from the House. The vocal Rabbani also accused the government of conceding political space when its ministers meet the army officials in the GHQ. “It is not apparent that power rests now in Rawalpindi, not Islamabad,” he said referring to the seat of military.
Taking part in the debate Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal suggested constitution of a committee of the House to bring to task those who launched an assault on parliament premises. Commenting on the PAT and PTI sit-ins, Ahsan said that the way Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri behave shows they are the only ones who are clean in this country. ANP’s Haji Adeel called those sitting outside parliament “terrorists” and said that the members of the House had to come to parliament secretly as “terrorists” frisk everyone coming to it. He urged that government to deal with those who committed unconstitutional actions as per the law.
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