PESHAWAR  - Khyber Pakthunkhwa Minister for Mineral Development and Technical Education, Mehmood Zaib Khan said Sunday that democracy would continue to flourish in the country despite the politics of long marches and sit-ins.

He said the government was committed to providing playing fields to all the political forces to contest general elections. “Democracy will move forward in spite of the politics of long marches and sit-ins and political change in the country can come only through power of ballots,” he told APP. He said PPP and people are custodians of democracy and constitution and will thwart all the undemocratic designs.

The minister said a handful of elements with catchy slogans are again come out to derail democracy and delay general elections.

However, PPP with support of masses would foil all such conspiracies against democracy and Pakistan.

He said destiny of the nation lied in democracy as it is in the interest of the country, adding this system would be further strengthened by holding free, fair and transparent election on time.

Mehmood Zaib Khan questioned when a dictator was ruling the country where were these elements, who are today criticizing democracy and constitution? He said it was only the PPP that had stood up against dictatorship and fought for rights of people, democracy and constitutional rule in the country. In this heroic struggle, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed had also laid down her life while fighting for the rights of the people and restoration of real democracy in the country, he remarked.

The minister said the country was passing through difficult time and could not afford political instability and chaos in the society.

“Today in the presence of a sovereign parliament, independent judiciary, free media and impartial election commission, a person or politician having any grievances, should knock the door of these institutions and forums instead wasting his energies in long marches and sit in,” he remarked.

Long marches and sit in is being designed as a political gimmick to grab peoples and media attention.

He said only people have the right to make accountability of politicians through power of ballots during general elections.

The Minister said people are politically matured and can easily differentiate between virtues and hallow slogans in the spectrum of politics.

About Dr Tahirul Qadri’s long march, the minister said peaceful protest was the right of every individual and Dr Tahirul Qadri being a seasoned religious and political leader, will not take any step that may derail democracy and destabilize Pakistan.

In the past, he said, we had seen that country’s economic and political system has adversely been affected due to agitation’s politics, sit in and long marches. He expressed optimism that Dr Tahirul Qadri will review his decision and call off his long march call in the wake of prevailing security environment.

The minister expressed the hope that Dr Tahirul Qadri will present his suggestions, proposals and recommendations about electoral reforms to the concerned forums for proper considerations.