RAWALPINDI: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Thursday said that both the PPP and PML-N were violating their commitment to the charter of democracy by opting for “undemocratic moves” and asked Maulana Fazlur Rehman to contest the upcoming Senate elections.
“PPP and PML-N signed the Charter of Democracy (CoD) in 2006, but now their actions are against it. Maulana Fazlur Rehman should contest the Senate elections from anywhere he wants and it will soothe and calm down his anger and stress,” Mr Rashid said while talking to reporters after a function at Government Viqarun Nisa College on the eve of Kashmir Solidarity Day.
In reply to a question, the minister said he would respond to the decision of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) about the long march and no-confidence move at Lal Haveli on Friday.
About expected resignations of the members of opposition parties from parliament, he said the opposition parties would not resign from parliament and their agitation would be limited to long march and no-confidence move against Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Maulana Fazl urged to contest Senate election
He said those who were threatening to resign from parliament should review their decisions as resignation would not bring any change, but would create problems for democratic system.
The minister said that sit-ins and long marches could not topple governments, and gave the example of PTI’s sit-in of 2014 which had continued for 126 days.
“We, along with Imran Khan, staged the sit-in in front of the Parliament House for 126 days, but failed to topple the then Nawaz Sharif-led government,” Mr Rashid said.
He said the PTI government would complete its remaining three-year tenure and it had only one year to deliver because the fifth year would be the year of the election campaign.
“The only panacea for all problems in politics is table talks. There is no dead end in politics and democracy will strengthen through the dialogue process,” he added.
The minister said the government had tabled a new legislation in parliament to end involvement of money in the Senate elections.
He congratulated PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari on the wedding of his daughter Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari and prayed and expressed well-wishes for her.
Earlier, addressing the function at the Viqarun Nisa Girls College, the interior minister announced that the college would be upgraded to the status of a university this year. He also announced Rs50 million grant for the college hostel.
It will be the third women university in Rawalpindi if the college was given the status of university.
The interior minister said that the nation was united on the issue of Kashmir and it wanted the issue to be resolved in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiris.
He urged the international community to stop human right violations in India-held Kashmir.
“The Modi government is trying to make demographic changes to the valley and it is a violation of the UN resolutions,” he said.
Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2021