KARACHI: The political parties in government and opposition in Sindh have expressed serious concerns over the ongoing ‘long march’ of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf while seeing it as a cause of instability in the country and demanded strong action from state institutions against this ‘planned sabotage’, however some also stressed the need for showing political maturity from all stakeholders to resolve the issues through dialogues.
In separate press conferences, leaders from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), its ally in the Centre and an opposition party in Sindh — Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Pak-Sarzameen Party (PSP), were found in agreement that the PTI protest would not serve any purpose to strengthen democracy, but could put a dent to political stability in the country.
First it was the MQM-P that advised the former prime minister to show some restraint and demonstrate ‘political maturity’.
MQM-P stresses dialogue while PPP seeks action against Imran
MQM-P stresses dialogues
Addressing a press conference along with former Karachi mayor Wasim Akhtar at the party’s temporary headquarters in Bahadurabad, senior party leader and Federal IT and Telecom Minister Amin ul Haq said it was unfair by all means to reject every opponent and their ideology.
“I suggest Imran Khan to show some respect while choosing words for others,” said Mr Haq.
“It is not fair to call every opponent bandit and corrupt. We as a party appeal all political stakeholders to ignore their ideological differences for a while and sit together to find any political solution of all issues through dialogues.”
PPP slams martial law statement
Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Atta Marri, however, came up with a strong reaction against the PTI chief calling him a “product of anti-democratic forces”.
While referring to the recent statement of Imran Khan regarding martial law, she said that his party would go against him on the issue of this statement as per constitution and take it up to the floor of the National Assembly.
“Imran Khan was the friend of General Pervez Musharraf and he had voted for Musharraf in referendum proving his loyalty with dictators,” she said.
“We demand of those, who provide relief to him time and again that they must call him and ask him about the meaning of ‘bloody’ long march and how he dared to say about imposing martial law in Pakistan. It’s not an ordinary statement.”
Her party colleagues almost repeated the same stance in a separate address to media.
Sindh Labour Minister Saeed Ghani and Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that the former prime minister was feeling frustrated after the establishment had announced that they would stay away from politics.
“Because of this commitment of our armed forces, he’s seeing a dark future and as a result he’s making desperate moves and issuing such kind of statements,” said Mr Ghani.
“So it should not be surprising for anyone, if Imran Khan calls for martial law or bloodshed during the long march. We believe that protest within the ambit of defined law is everyone’s right, but state must move when there’s a visible threat to stability and peace of the country.”
PSP defends soldiers
Pak Sarzameen Party chief and former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal thought that someone had wrongly briefed Imran Khan that he could do anything through public popularity and doubted that the idea would work.
“If Imran Khan wants the date of next general elections in the country, he should sit together with all relevant stakeholders and find a solution, through peaceful negotiations,” he told a press conference at the party headquarters called Pakistan House.
“The country could not be dragged into destruction. Imran Khan calls our establishment ‘animal’, ‘Mir Jafar’ and ‘Mir Sadiq’. This is not the way to address our soldiers who are defending our country. If it is permissible for Imran Khan to call the heads of institutions and officers traitors, then it will be permissible for everyone.”
Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2022