LAHORE/ISLAMABAD - As the troops took over security of the federal capital on Friday, PPP called upon the government to withdraw its decision to invoke Article 245 of the Constitution.
The PPP leaders think that it not only entails the suspension of fundamental rights, it also implies that the government and its law-enforcement agencies have failed to secure the federal capital.
In a statement, senior PPP leader Manzoor Wattoo said the situation in Islamabad was not as bad as in Peshawar and Quetta while the civil society and almost all the political parties were opposed to the decision which reflected lack of acumen on the part of the government to handle a crisis. Similarly, PPP spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar while talking to The Nation said: "It will create confusion at the time of lifting of the article 245 in the country as how the army will easily free any under-investigation suspect from its custody soon after three months."
Wattoo warned if the said article remained in force, the possibility of clash of the institution with the people could not be ruled out, which would have devastating consequences.
He was of the view that such decisions must be taken after thorough discussions in the Parliament so that they could be taken and owned by each party.
He maintained that it seemed the ruling party had not abandoned the temptation of taking solo flights, regardless of its inevitability of violent turbulences and prospects of crash landing. In this case, he added, they were ironically descending to the same ill-fate. He said that denying the relevance of the collective wisdom in a democratic dispensation by mandarins was indeed repudiating the democratic ethos by any criterion.
He said it was unfortunate that PML-N was averse to taking the other political parties into confidence on matters of national importance and had created political rift in the process, a situation not good for the promotion and strengthening of democratic institutions in the country. Talking about the imposition of article 245 only in Islamabad, Senator Babar said argued that troops might cross the boundaries of Islamabad in hunting down suspects.
"Having the protection under article 245 the troops will have protection to operate other areas of the country," said major opposition party leader, adding that its imposition will automatically spread all over the country.
Sharing the past examples of invoking article-245 in the country, Babar said this article was invoked in Lahore in 1977 that led to the imposition of martial law in the country.
The PPP has already planned to discuss imposition of article 245 on the floor of the National Assembly, as an adjournment motion in this regard was submitted by the PPP lawmakers in recent past. Sources said that PPP lawmakers would try to discuss this decision on the first day of the NA session, starting from August 4.