LONDON, May 6: Former prime minister and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif has said that after Sindh and the NWFP, the historic reception accorded to Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry by the people of Punjab has proved that there is now a consensus in the country for a return to constitutional rule and that military dictatorship will soon end for ever.
In a statement released here on Saturday night, Mr Sharif said the people had come out on the streets to welcome the chief justice on their own, and along with the lawyers and political workers had demonstrated to the world that Pakistanis had stood for rule of law and democracy and would not accept one-man dictatorship anymore.
He said it was a tribute to the people that despite the best efforts of the administration to create hurdles in their movement and mass arrests prior to the reception, there had been no lack of mass support on the street for rule of law.
He criticised what he called the government’s reprehensible act of blocking the transmission of private TV channels in Sindh and said that such tactics could not derail the mounting movement against him.
He said that all those politicians whose decisions impacted upon the people should correctly assess the mood of the masses and take their decisions in accordance with the wishes of people otherwise they would find themselves on the wrong side of history.
“Similarly, it is now up to the army generals to decide whether they will continue to allow a sinking dictator to further tarnish the image of their institution or heed the call of people by dumping him,” he added.
The PML-N chief said the movement for restoration of constitutional rule had entered a decisive phase after Sunday’s show of no confidence in Musharraf and would continue till its objective was achieved.