LAHORE/ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Sunday that the government will protect democracy and foil those conspiring against it at any cost . He said those who are doing politics of violence and confrontation are enemies of development and prosperity.
In a meeting with his brother Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to chalk out plan of action to deal with anti-government campaigns of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, the PM said the journey of development started after the general elections would continue. “If some people think they will oust a popular government through protest or sit-in, they are mistaken,” he said.
Both the leaders resolved to deal with the political situation administratively, while agreeing that the atmosphere of anarchy and lawlessness would not be tolerated in the country while the operation Zarb-e-Azb is going on in North Waziristan. The PM also said the unity showed by country’s political parties in the National Security Conference would help eliminate terrorism from the country.
The PM and his brother CM agreed that the law enforcement will be ensured in any case. It was decided that strict action will be taken against those who took the law into their own hands. The meeting decided that the protection of property and lives of the citizens during the long march will be ensured.
Earlier, Punjab CM strongly condemned the violence on police by Minhajul Quran workers. Shahbaz Sharif expressed grief and anger over killing of two policemen amid violent clashes between police and PAT workers, vowing that the culprits cannot escape the grip of law. Sympathising with the families of the deceased policemen, he assured that the blood of the martyrs will not go in vain, adding that the perpetrators will meet their fate.
Meanwhile,  PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari said that his party would play its role in protecting and promoting democracy.
In a message issued in connection with the Minorities Day (August 11), Zardari said, “On this day, the PPP pledges to play its role in protecting and promoting democracy, promoting tolerance and harmony and ending violence against our non-Muslim brethren. The Party reiterates its pledge to resist any attempt to derail democracy on any pretext whatsoever.”
He further said, “The PPP strongly condemns the recent spurt in violence against different minorities’ communities in the country.”
He said, “The Minorities’ Day today is an occasion to pause and ponder on the causes of increasing intolerance towards them and its inevitable consequences for the state and society. It is also an occasion to vow to bring to an end the siege laid around the minorities by the intolerant and the bigots. The PPP recognises and respects the important role played by the minorities in Pakistan in nation building and the sacrifices rendered by them. It is committed to protect them against fanatics and zealots, reverse the trend of systematic erosion of their rights and to draw them fully in the mainstream of national life.
PPP Information Secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira has strongly condemned the government of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for overreacting to a simple situation and creating an atmosphere of siege throughout the province causing untold miseries to the ordinary people, commuters and daily wage earners in the province.
In a statement issued here on Sunday, he said that the PPP is shocked at the manner in which Shahbaz has overreacted to Tahirul Qadri’s call to pay homage today to the martyrs of Model Town incident recently in which PAT workers were killed due to unwise, thoughtless and arrogant police action. Qadri may be a demagogue deserving no sympathy whatsoever but it makes no sense to punish the ordinary people for what Qadri may be doing, he said.
He also said that roads in major provincial cities have been blocked by placing containers, patients have been dying on roadsides for not been able to reach hospitals, gas stations and shops of daily food items are shut and public and private transport has come to a standstill. It is beyond comprehension as to why the provincial government has so overreacted and achieved nothing but betrayed its sense of fear, paranoid and sheer desperation, Kaira said.
The PPP Information Secretary recalled that not long ago former President Asif Ali Zardari and the PPP government in Islamabad also dealt with Qadri’s week long march and dharna in the federal capital in such a way that Qadri himself concluded that it was best to call off the march and dharna without use of force and without even a minor untoward incident.
The provincial government should immediately lift the blockade of ordinary people in the province and seek to deal with Qadri in ways that are ingenious and non violent.