Kamal calls for grand national dialogue to save Pakistan

Published November 9, 2020
PARTICIPANTS in the PSP rally listen to their leaders at Bagh-i-Jinnah on Sunday.—Photo by Shakil Adil / White Star
PARTICIPANTS in the PSP rally listen to their leaders at Bagh-i-Jinnah on Sunday.—Photo by Shakil Adil / White Star

KARACHI: Pak Sarzameen Party chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal on Sunday asked the government and opposition parties to initiate a grand national dialogue and formulate a plan to run Pakistan for next 20 years and to steer the country out of multiple crises that had been eroding the masses’ trust on democratic dispensation.

“Let’s initiate a dialogue to save Pakistan. Let’s hold a grand dialogue, a grand jirga to find out the solution. This system has become outdated and the country is not moving forward,” Mr Kamal said while speaking at a huge public meeting organised by his party at the Bagh-i-Jinnah.

The PSP held a power show in response to the Oct 18 public meeting of 11-party Pakistan Democratic Movement at the same venue in the shadow of the Quaid’s mausoleum.

PSP holds power show at Bagh-i-Jinnah

A large number of people, including women and children, attended the event at the Bagh-i-Jinnah, which was packed to capacity. Participants in the public meeting were seen waving PSP flags and shouting slogans in favour of Mr Kamal and PSP president Anis Kaimkhani.

Addressing Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said: “You are willing to talk to [Indian Prime Minister] Modi who is the killer of Kashmiris and you are ready to talk to him but not ready to talk to the opposition parties. What kind of system is this,” he asked.

He reminded Mr Khan that he was not a monarch but an elected prime minister and bound under the Constitution to sit with the opposition to resolve issues of national importance.

“Let’s hold a dialogue in the country. You are ready to talk to Modi ... you should also talk to the opposition parties of this country,” he said, asking the government and the opposition to stop calling each other thieves and looters. He asked the government and the opposition to make a “new beginning” and introduce judicial, health, education and local government reforms.

Highlighting the issue of an unprecedented price hike in the country, he warned the government and the opposition not to take the people’s silence for granted as a silent revolution would wipe them out if they failed to act to end their miseries.

He said that the local government was the first step of any democratic system but none of the provinces currently had an elected LG set-up.

He reiterated his demand of holding a correct and transparent census in Karachi and observed that it would double the existing 21 National Assembly seats in the metropolis.

Mr Kamal was critical of both PML-Nawaz leader Maryam Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in his speech.

Talking about PDM’s rally in Quetta, he said he saw Maryam Nawaz “exploiting the sentiments of the families of missing persons for her vested political gains at the rally, as she chanted the slogan of ‘shame shame’, which actually added more sufferings to the already distressed families”.

He asked Ms Nawaz as to what her father, who had been elected prime minister thrice, had done for the recovery of the missing persons when he was the country’s premier.

The PSP chief said that the PPP had hosted the Oct 18 public meeting of the PDM in Karachi and it was an irony that none of the leaders of the 11 parties spoke about the plight of Karachi.

Addressing Mr Bhutto-Zardari, he said that the PPP had been ruling Sindh for the past 12 years and if anyone was responsible for the problems from Kashmore to Karachi it was the PPP-led provincial government.

He said that recently Karachi was declared the worst city in terms of its transport system. He said he was happy to see the project of Orange Train in Punjab, but those who left Karachi at the mercy of Qingqi rickshaws and did not bring even one bus during their 12-year rule must be held accountable.

Mr Kamal said that the PSP was a reality and “this huge public meeting has been organised without using any government resources”.

He said that people of all ethnic and linguistic backgrounds were part of the PSP and present in the rally. “Today, Karachi is united under the banner of PSP and ready to lead the country politically.”

PSP President Anis Kaimkhani and other leaders including, Hassan Sabir, Arshad Vohra, Shabbir Kaimkhani and others also spoke.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2020

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