DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Pakistan Democratic Movement chairman and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday claimed that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader and former prime minister Imran Khan wanted martial law to be imposed in the country if the federal government didn’t appoint the next army chief of his choice.
He said the government won’t make any compromise on the supremacy of the Constitution and the law.
Addressing a news conference here, the PDM chief said national institutions, be they the army, judiciary or Election Commission of Pakistan, should be apolitical and shouldn’t support their ‘blue-eyed’ politicians.
He said ‘conflicting’ verdicts by courts would create confusion and hurt the people’s confidence.
Mr Fazl said the PTI and its leaders shouldn’t get any face-saving.
“I want to convey it to my [PDM] coalition government and its head, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, that the PTI shouldn’t be offered dialogue at all,” he said.
The PDM leader insisted that the PTI’s ongoing anti-government march on Islamabad had failed as the party failed to ensure participation of even 2,000 people in it.
He said the Imran Khan-led ‘long march’ couldn’t reach Islamabad as scheduled due to a lack of public support.
Mr Fazl claimed that the PTI’s march would vanish into thin air ahead of the federal capital.
He said the Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders had planned to carry arms in the rally for violence as if they were part of a terrorist outfit, which didn’t believe in politics and dialogue.
“They [PTI] want to blackmail the federal government to serve their ends by entering Islamabad,” he said.
The PDM chief said political stability, which led to economic stability, was imperative for a strong democracy.
He said supremacy of the Constitution and law should be ensured.
“For the first time, the chief of a national institution came forward for clarity on key issues as moves by the PTI leadership threatened the state. The PTI is trying to create political and economic instability and chaos in the country,” he said.
Mr Fazl said in the past, the PTI marched on Islamabad when the country was entering a new era of economic stability and the Chinese president was to reach the country on an official visit.
He said the PTI’s anti-government rally was meant to damage the confidence of China in Pakistan and block foreign investment in the country.
“Such attempts will be countered through political wisdom and national solidarity,” he said.
The PDM leader said the 2018 general elections led to the formation of the ‘selected’ (PTI) government, which cancelled all mega projects in the country blocking all international investments.
He added that the policies of PM Imran Khan’s government also halted the country’s development for three and a half years.
Mr Fazl said the PTI government had ‘handed over’ the State Bank of Pakistan to the International Monetary Fund in the name of the SBP’s autonomy, so the bank’s president was no more answerable to the prime minister, cabinet or parliament.
He said the PTI had announced the ‘long march’ on Islamabad a few days before a ministerial level meeting was held between China and Pakistan, which was to decide investment and development projects for the next year.
The PDM chief said the Tehreek-i-Insaf leadership was trying to shake China’s trust in Pakistan’s economic and investment policies and moves.
He said it was pity that the PTI was marching on Islamabad when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was in China to discuss investment options with the Chinese authorities.
He said former prime minister Imran Khan was misguiding the youth to resort to violence against the federal government but that won’t be allowed to happen.
Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2022