ISLAMABAD: The Pakis­tan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) have expressed concern over the increasing polarisation in the run-up to the National Assembly session on the no-confidence motion against the prime minister.

Hina Jilani, the HRCP chairperson, secretary general Harris Khalique, PFUJ president Shahzada Zulfiqar and secretary general Nasir Zaidi said in a joint statement that there was “a danger of violent clash” between supporters of rival political camps on the eve of the vote in NA.

“A breakdown of law and order will not only undermine a constitutional political process inside the House, but also play directly into the hands of undemocratic forces. Being non-partisan, the PFUJ and HRCP believe in upholding principles of democracy, constitutionalism and parliamentary supremacy wherein parliament is allowed freely to perform its functions under the Constitution.

“Proceedings in the no-trust vote must be allowed to be carried out without coercion and hindrance. A show of strength resulting in a clash outside parliament on that day will undermine the proceedings inside the House. This must be avoided at all costs,” the HRCP and the PFUJ observed.

The joint statement noted that separate venues had now been allotted for the public meetings of the ruling party and the opposition. But since the route to the two venues for rival workers is almost the same, there is a real danger of clashes between workers on the day, it feared.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2022

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