This is in reference to the unbecoming behaviour of our elected parliamentarians witnessed by the citizens of Pakistan on 9 March’ 2017. The sycophancy and patronisation by the political leadership has no place in democracy, as it is reminiscent of tyrannical dictator and not elected politicians. The scuffle and abuses hurled by the elected in the premise of the National Assembly is unacceptable.

It is the responsibility of the Speaker to ensure neutrality and allow members to express their opinions and criticism, within the bounds of parliamentary norms and decency, which unfortunately is lacking.

The essence of democracy is right of dissent, tolerance and strict accountability. While democratically elected leaders enjoy constitutional powers, they must adhere to a strict code of ethics that come with it. They must refrain from the abuse of power, because the decisions they make impacts the fate and destiny of millions.

It is incumbent upon parliamentarians and office holders to desist from resorting to physical violence, nor cast aspersions on loyalty and patriotism of others. Merely getting elected does not confer upon elected party the right to pass judgement on patriotism of opposition. Those who indulge in financial terrorism, by resorting to money laundering and corruption, driving the country to financial insolvency are as disloyal as those who are involved in acts of terrorism.

The elected executive is under obligation to exercise restraint and enforce the writ of laws on those involved in terrorism especially the Afghan refugees, but not in ethnic biases. Every citizen of Pakistan has the right to reside, do business or get employment in any part of this country. Enough time has elapsed and it is now incumbent upon the political leadership to abide by a strict code of ethics, submit to accountability and have no split loyalties. If this country is not safe for their assets or their children to be located here, they have no right to hold any political office.

ALI MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, March 9.