ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan People’s Party believes Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has to accept Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s demands before December’s long march as the sword of ‘boot march’ was also hanging.

Peeping into the post-December scenario, PPP leaders Ghulam Murtza Satti and Noor Alam Khan told The Nation, their party wanted the democracy to flourish but PM Sharif had to act sensibly to achieve this goal.

They claimed if PM Sharif continued to stick to his ‘ego’ and avoid investigation in to the Panama leaks, there could be disaster for the future of the country.

Earlier, PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said he would give a call of long march against the incumbent government on December 27 in Garhi Khuda Bukhsh if their demands were not met.

He said that Prime Minister Sharif wanted to run national institutions like his personal businesses.

The PPP chief asked the government to re-constitute a parliamentary committee on national security, pass Panama Bill drafted by the PPP, implement the PPP resolution regarding China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and immediately appoint the foreign minister. The government has so far not given any hint to accept any of the demands.

Before the PPP storm, comes Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf’s test on November 2 when Imran Khan plans to ‘shut Islamabad’ to pressure the government for accountability of the premier. Khan has warned the government of strong reaction if it attempted to fail the ‘massive’ protest using force.

For the time being the PPP is not boarding the PTI ship against the government but the government is not taking the warning from Bilawal lightly.

Senior PPP leader Ghulam Murtza Satti, a former lawmaker, said if the government allowed the PPP to launch the long march, it could very easily become a ‘boot march’ for the government.

He said PM Sharif has to act fast to save the system and revive the people’s confidence in the democratic system.

“If you are refusing to hold yourself accountable, it means you want to separate systems for the common man and the rich people. This cannot go on for long,” he said.

Satti said Sharif government had already done enough to discredit the politicians. “If they want people to support them they should ensure real democracy. It is best for the government to accept Bilawal’s demands before it’s too late,” he maintained.

The PPP leader, however, said his party did not buy Khan’s idea of shutting down Islamabad. He said the doors for corrupt rulers should be shut instead.

PPP leader from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Noor Alam Khan said he could see confrontation if the government did not take Bilawal’s proposals seriously.

“If they use the delaying tactics as they have been doing since 2013, this could mean end to their politics. PM Nawaz Sharif has to take a lead to strengthen democracy,” he said.

Khan said there was a difference in PPP and PTI’s approach. “They want to cripple people’s life and we want to put the government under pressure for accountability. PM needs to understand we cannot escape accountability for long,” he said.

The former legislator said the government should appoint a foreign minister immediately after the recent failures of the foreign policy.

“They should pass the Panama Bill so that the accountability becomes a regular feature. We know 2017 is the election year and if the government fails to deliver, it will be rooted out in the elections. Even before that they can be booted out,” he contended without elaborating whether it would be a martial law or a people’s revolution.

Treasury lawmaker Talal Chaudhry said the opposition cannot dictate terms but there was nothing wrong in re-designating Sartaj Aziz as the foreign minister.

“As the adviser on foreign affairs he is doing the same job so if he is made the foreign minister it won’t change anything,” he said.

Chaudhry said the government believed in the accountability without discrimination but the decision should not be made on the streets.

Meanwhile, PPP spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar said considerations of ‘so-called national security’ as defined by the security establishment was the single most formidable impediment in the way of freedom of expression and the right to information.

Speaking at the seminar organized by the Rawalpindi Bar Association on the right to information Senator Babar disclosed that when the Senate Committee on Information took up consideration of the RTI law the Defence Ministry formally asked the committee not to proceed with it without first obtaining No-Objection Certificate from it.

He said the RTI was also a societal issue as information was power and no one wanted to share or part with power.

Until recently even the parliament - while striving for right to information legislation - was reluctant to make public information about the attendance of the members, a situation that had only just changed.

He said questions asked in the Senate about the suo moto cases taken up by superior courts were not replied on the ground that it militated against independence of judiciary.

“Not long ago the registrar of the Supreme Court declined to submit accounts before the parliament’s public accounts committee,” he said.

Parliamentary questions such as whether an inquiry had been held into the Kargil and several other similar questions were not answered on the grounds of national security, he said.

He said that the contempt of court law in its present form also militated against the principle of right of expression and right to information and asked the lawyers community to give a thought to it and develop recommendations for amendments in the contempt of court law.

Babar asked the lawyers to investigate as to why the RTI laws had been legislated in the provinces but not at the federal level despite the fact that a consensus draft RTI law had been formulated at the Senate Information Committee and the government had promised to introduce it as government bill in the parliament.

“Is it because the security-related issues are exclusively within the domain of the federal government and faced difficulties in legislating RTI despite promises and endorsing the draft bill,” he asked.

He complimented the lawyers for seeking to expand the frontiers of human rights and right to expression which will continue to be opposed by the powers on different pretexts.

“We need to redefine the term national security and instead make public interest the supreme consideration in legislating the RTI law,” he said.