QUETTA: Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai speaking at a news conference at the press club here on Thursday.—Online
QUETTA: Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai speaking at a news conference at the press club here on Thursday.—Online

QUETTA: Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai has said that no one will be allowed to derail democracy in the country in the garb of accountability, adding that Pakistan cannot afford further crises.

Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday, he said his party entered into an alliance with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz after the 2013 elections for the sake of democracy. He said the PkMAP had never supported undemocratic forces in the country and always resisted attempts against democratic institutions of the country.

Mr Achakzai was accompanied by PkMAP leaders Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal, Sardar Raza Muhammad Bareach, Abdul Qahar Wadan Jalil Khan Dotani and others.

He said he was not against accountability, but it should not be selective. There should be no discrimination in accountability and all those who had been involved in corrupt practices should be brought to justice, he added.

Caution against ‘selective accountability’

The PkMAP chairman said those who wanted accountability of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should also demand accountability of those who violated the Constitution of the country and made parliament non-functional.

He said that at present Mr Sharif was the most popular leader of the country and his party was supporting him for the promotion of democracy and the rule of law in the country

Referring to the Panama Papers case, Mr Achakzai said targeting one person and his family in the name of accountability was unjustified. He alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched against the democratic system in the country in the garb of the accountability of the prime minister.

Mr Achakzai said his party would resist any attempt to derail the democratic process in the country. PkMAP members and supporters would be on the streets if an attempt was made to remove the government undemocratically, he added.

Answering a question, the PkMAP chairman said corruption was the biggest problem plaguing the nation today. He said all political parties of the country should sit together and try to find a solution to the menace of corruption.

Without naming any political party and leader, Mr Achakzai criticised those who held protest sit-ins in Islamabad against the government. “Why an investigation was not being conducted against those who talked against parliament and broke walls of its building during the sit-in in the Red Zone of Islamabad?” he asked, and called for action against those who tried to harm the democratic system in the country.

He said that establishment of peace in the country was necessary for its economic development and the success of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Talking about the security and development issues in the region, he said the situation in the region could not normalise until Afghanistan was recognised as an independent and sovereign state. “We have time to normalise relations with Afghanistan,” he said, adding that making Afghanistan a strategic partner was in the interest of Pakistan.

The PkMAP chairman stressed the need for normalisation of relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, saying that Pakistan should make efforts for improving ties with its western neighbour. “If Pakistan recognises Afghanistan as an independent and sovereign state, we can play our role in bringing Afghans close to Pakistan,” he said.

Mr Achakzai said Pakistan should play its role in removing differences between Iran and Saudi Arabia, adding that Pakistan could also become a victim of bad relations between the two countries.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2017

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