SHIKARPUR: Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani has advised all politicians including Imran Khan to avoid wasting their precious time in “politics of agitation outside the parliament” which, he feared, may lead to the undoing of the entire democratic dispensation.

The minus-one formula proposed to the Pakistan People Party (PPP) by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was not new; it was what the past dictators Gen Ziaul Haq and Gen Pervez Musharraf wanted from the PPP, said Mr Durrani at a press conference held at Shikarpur House here on Sunday.

He said that Mr Khan should beware of what he said as in all likelihood instead of minus-Zardari, he could himself face expulsion from his party soon under the minus-Imran formula.

He said that there was no restriction on opposition parties to voice their demands for the welfare of masses and development but they needed to be realistic and adopt positive attitude to the democratic process and the sanctity of parliament.

He called upon the oppositions to shun politics of agitation and play a constructive role for the promotion of democracy which had been attained at a great cost and after supreme sacrifices of PPP founder chairman Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, his daughter Benazir Bhutto, party workers and members of general public. People would not allow any adventurer to derail democracy, he said.

Mr Durrani said the elected parliament was part of democracy, therefore, elected representatives should discuss and resolve all national problems on the floor of the parliament.

Therefore, he advised all political leaders including Mr Khan to avoid wasting their precious time by busying themselves with the politics of agitation outside the parliament which might undo the entire democratic process.

Several attempts were made in past to minus Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto from the PPP but they failed and the dictators who talked of purging them were themselves banished from politics. Instead of a minus-Zardari, Mr Khan could himself be expelled his party soon under the same formula, he said.

Mr Durrani said the PPP was the only national political party in the country and whoever wanted to join it would be welcomed. The party would sweep 2018 general election with people’s support because it had served people without discrimination.

About the law and order situation in Sindh, he claimed the PPP government had tried its best to restore peace, curb criminal elements and crush all anti-social activities as well as terrorist networks. Police operations continued against terrorists and outlaws to maintain peace in the province, he said.

He said that it was not possible to completely eradicate the terrorism threat when the entire world had to grapple with it. All resources were being utilised to uproot terrorist networks in Sindh and the country, he said.

He welcomed all steps taken by Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif to uproot terrorists’ hideouts and dismantle their networks.

About the PPP candidate Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh, Mr Durrani urged party workers to support Mr Shaikh in by-election for PS-11 (Shikarpur) to be held on Oct 20 and claimed victory for PPP with the support of voters.

Meanwhile, PML-Functional MNA Ghous Bux Khan Mahar along with his friends announced that he would support PPP candidate Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh in by-election. Asked if he had received any direction in this regard from the aprty head, he said he had not received any message from Pir Sahib of Pagaro to help Mr Shaikh.

Published in Dawn October 10th, 2016

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