Opposition must keep protest within boundaries of law: Qureshi

Published February 8, 2021
MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaks to reporters on Sunday.—Dawn
MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi speaks to reporters on Sunday.—Dawn

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that opposition parties should keep their protests within the ambit of the law.

Talking to journalists here on Sunday after laying the foundation-stone of a road [starting from Chungi No 14 to General Bus Stand], the foreign minister warned the opposition parties against damaging the public and private properties and taking the law into their hands.

“The people have rejected opposition parties and they should avoid creating hindrance to restoration of the economy. From 1985 to 2018, the PML-N and the PPP have remained in power, but what have they done for the masses,” he asked.

About Senate election, Mr Qureshi said the upper house of parliament was the symbol of the federation and it should be used for strengthening the federation.

He said the entire country knew that horse-trading of MPAs had taken place in the last Senate elections, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of the situation and now the PTI government had taken the stand that this practice must now be stopped.

“The one who has been elected on bat’s symbol should also cast his vote in the Senate poll to the PTI candidate. Similarly, the MPAs of PML-N and PPP should also cast their votes to candidates of their respective political parties as selling of votes is in fact the selling of the trust of the people. The ‘auctioning’ of MPAs should now be stopped,” the foreign minister said.

The PTI leader said that both PPP and PML-N in the charter of democracy had agreed to stop horse-trading, but now the two parties were not honouring the agreement.

“Why both the parties are not honouring the agreement they had signed in the past? There is now a discussion in the country that the open balloting for Senate election needs constitutional amendment, but some law experts were of the view that it does not need any amendment as a result of which Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided that the matter should now be decided by the Supreme Court as the top court had the power to interpret the Constitution. The matter is now in the Supreme Court and whatever it decides about the issue, the government will honour it,” Mr Qureshi said.

“We also presented the 26th Constitution Amendment Bill in the National Assembly for the open ballot despite the fact that the PTI government lacks the two-thirds majority in the lower house of parliament. The purpose of the move was to get it passed with the two-thirds majority with the hope that the PPP and PML-N will let it be approved, but unfortunately they made the government move unsuccessful. The nation should now see which political parties want the continuity of this corrupt practice, he said.

Referring to the Kashmir issue, the foreign minister claimed that the Indian policy on Kashmir had failed and the voice of [Kashmiri] people was being heard all over the world.

“The New York Assembly has passed a resolution expressing its solidarity with the people of Kashmir,” he said.

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2021

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