ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People's Party (PPP), the major opposition party in the Senate, Tuesday demanded of the government to sack the present Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), form a committee to probe allegations of rigging levelled by PTI chief and avoid confrontation to end the present political turmoil in the country.
PPP made these demands while taking part in the debate on the issue of imposition of Article 245 of the Constitution in Islamabad and the emerging political situation in the country. It also demanded for filling a reference against all the members of ECP under Article 209 of the Constitution to give them exemplary punishment.
The lawmakers of the PPP rejected the other day's allegation of ruling PML-N that the party had a dual role or policy in the present political situation of the country.
The opposition lawmakers condemned the government for resorting to violent measures to stop PTI and PAT workers from participating in the march and said it was their democratic right to protest. They also come down hard on the government for belatedly responding to the demands of Imran Khan and criticized the Punjab government for their alleged involvement in the killing of 14 PAT workers.
Senator Saeed Ghani of PPP taking part in the debate said, "PPP always resolved political challenges politically and PML-N never does this." He questioned what was now the use of inviting Imran Khan for talks.
He demanded that the present Election Commission of Pakistan should be sacked and the government should file a reference against all the members of the ECP under Article 209 of the Constitution. "Action should be initiated against all members of ECP and all should be punished so that no one in future could dare to get involved in rigging," Ghani said.
Former interior minister Rehman Malik also said that PPP had no dual policy in the present circumstances and warned the government that protesting parties should not be stopped, as it was their democratic right to protest.
"Rigging should cease to exist and the chair should form a committee to probe all these allegations," he concluded.
Senior PPP leader Taj Haider said that long march of Nawaz Sharif was also wrong that did not mean for the independence of judiciary but meant to strengthen a judge and destabilize the government. "We are not ready to admit that Nawaz Sharif invoked Article 245 in aid to civil administration," he said adding when you will give space, these institutions will move towards you.
He said that PPP was concerned that powers of high court had been curtailed through Article 245. He said that the government should not promote politics of confrontation, as they would have to fight for democracy from the beginning.
Senator Afrasiab Khattak of ANP said that Article 245 of the Constitution was invoked for fear o f backlash but no one was stopping banned organizations from holding rallies and other activities.
He said in the present situation the issues of military operation and IDPs were at second priority. "The bazaars of Miran Shaw and Mir Ali had been destroyed as a result of the operation but no one is raising voice," he said adding that Pashtuns would have to think over it.
"The government should not become unnerved, avoid confrontation and other side should review the decision of long march," he suggested.
However, the government gave a different narrative as State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab said that PML-N and PPP had a role in the country for the supremacy of law and constitution in the country. "Bhutto and Sharif families were victimized in the country as they stood by the democracy," he said.
He said Article 245 was invoked for the security of the sensitive government buildings in ICT. If the government could not deliver, the masses will automatically send it home after five years through elections," he concluded.