LAHORE  - Senior PPP leader Mian Manzoor Wattoo on Monday said it was unnecessary on the part of the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to state that nobody could dare harm democracy in the presence of the present Army chief.

“General Raheel Sharif is a professional soldier belonging to a family that had rendered great sacrifices for country’s defence. But it is not prudent to single out the Army chief as a saviour of democracy and the Constitution to the exclusion of the other stakeholders”, he said commenting on the speech of the Chief Minister before the PML-N workers in Lahore.

Wattoo was of the view that making mention of the Army chief in the context of the current political crisis may trigger undesirable controversy.  He opined that the whole nation was the custodian of Constitution and democracy including the civil society, legal fraternity, intellectuals, Army, media and the judiciary. “They all stand firm to guard the Constitution and democracy because they are all stakeholders in the system”, he remarked. He argued that the Chief Minister‘s statement was unnecessary that only raised the question about his sense of proportion on important matters of national importance. It will not sink well in the relevant quarters and the fair minded people of the society as well, he observed.

He further said that Shahbaz should concentrate on addressing the governing issues in providing relief to the people who were leading miserable lives due to price hike, worsening law and order situation, loadshedding, poverty and now floods in many parts of the province.

Wattoo pointed out that the top government functionaries should desist from uttering unguarded statements which only tend to vitiate the political environment and prove detrimental to the painstaking efforts of the interlocutors engaged to find out the political settlement of the current political gridlock.

He referred to the similar speech of the Interior Minister a few days back that created storm in the Parliament to the utter dismay of the people of Pakistan.

Wattoo observed that the uncalled for statements hurt the efforts of creating an enabling environment for the smooth functioning of the affairs of the governance and indeed of the State.