Ayaz sees govt going down
Lahore – These are turbulent times. The rupee value is falling, stock market is nervous and public debt keeps on mounting.
Things are even vaguer on political side, where uncertainty has grown deeper after the botched Faizabad operation and release of Model Town inquiry report.
We have come to a point where the realisation of Imran Khan’s dream of early elections stands as much chance as the delay in polls because of the delimitation bill’s hold-up.
Even a ruling party stalwart now believes that the parliament and, as a corollary, the government may not complete their terms.
Speaker Ayaz Sadiq says he does not see the National Assembly completing its tenure as “what’s happening now has never been witnessed before”.
“I am not an astrologer… I hope it [National Assembly] completes its constitutional term but I don’t foresee it happening,” he told Aaj News yesterday.
“I feel something is about to happen… things are drastically different from [the situation of] 2002 and 2008,” he said while talking about the political situation prevailing in the country for the last two months.
The pressure on government has increased following the ‘botched’ Faizabad crackdown and more recently after the release of the Model Town inquiry report.
But delay in the passage of the delimitation bill was a greater source of concern for Ayaz, which he believed could lead the politicians from smaller provinces to resort to tendering “resignations”.
Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan reiterated his demand for the early elections saying “it is better to hold elections as early as possible” as “fresh mandate is needed” to bring stability in the country because government has failed to fulfil its duties.
While PTI has called for early elections, the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek have restricted their demands to resignations of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah for their alleged involvement in 2014 Model Town massacre.
The PPP is in fact being alleged of “serving the purpose of establishment” by working to delay the elections. But a key leader of the party rejected these claims, saying the PPP wanted on time elections.
“The PPP will ensure that elections are held on time,” Qamar Zaman Kaira told a news conference after chairing a party meeting here yesterday. He said his party would strongly oppose any move to delay the elections.
“PPP would resist all undemocratic steps aimed at weakening the democracy”, he said, adding that his party wanted the continuation of democratic process.
Reacting to the criticism coming from ruling PML-N after PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s meeting with Dr Tairul Qadri, he said PPP had not done anything wrong.
“The PPP will oppose Qadri if he supported any undemocratic move at any point in time”, party’s Central Punjab president said.
Kaira informed reporters that PPP had planned a series of public rallies across Punjab. He added that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would address a big public rally in Multan on December 15 (tomorrow).
Ayaz on delimitation bill
Speaker Ayaz Sadiq also talked to Geo News, restating his fear that government could be derailed anytime.
He said uncertainty was looming around, which has been fuelled by instances such as the delimitation bill not being passed. He said the smaller provinces of the country could take the issue to the court.
He added if Punjab was ready to give up its seats for the smaller provinces to get more seats in the National Assembly, the latter would voice their demand on the matter.
However, Ayaz Sadiq said, the Election Commission of Pakistan has asked for time to go through the process. “Chances are that people would start resorting to the option of resignations.”
The delimitation of constituencies was decided in line with the provisional results of the latest census. The bill has already been adopted by the National Assembly, but the government has so far failed to get it approved by the Senate, despite repeated attempts.
The speaker said this was the first time he has felt hopeless towards politics.
Talking about the helplessness in the aftermath of the Faizabad sit-in, he said the government could not do much as it was feared that even the slight use of force would wreak havoc.
“I was not this upset even in 2002 during Musharraf’s tenure as I’m now… It is not necessary that martial law disrupts the system, but Pakistan has been vulnerable in the past.”
Nevertheless, Sadiq said, the government and even parties in the opposition — with the exception of one — want the government to complete its tenure. “Now it is for the public to decide who has the potential to make the country better.”
He added there is a need to strengthen the country’s system as the “external threats are much bigger than the internal threats”.
Pakistan Peoples Party has played a vital role in this as they have been saying since day one that the system must not be derailed, the speaker added.
Ayaz sees govt going down