‘Fall of Dhaka, APS tragedy teach need for respecting constitution, democracy’
ISLAMABAD – Former Prime Minister and Senior Vice President of PML-N Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that the lesson from the fall of Dhaka and the APS attack was that Pakistan, all its institutions and all its people must strictly abide by the constitution otherwise similar disasters await.
Speaking at a seminar organized by PML-N titled “Reasons and Lessons After 50 Years of Fall of Dhaka,” Abbasi said that in the history of the world, always minorities had seceded from a country but the fall of Dhaka was a unique case where a majority seceded from a country.
He said that this did not happen overnight, but was a result of a political process, they tabled their demands in front of the people of Pakistan, participated in the elections and when they were refused government even after winning the elections, they decided to secede from Pakistan.
He said four and a half out of the six demands made by the Awami League were now a functional part of Pakistan’s constitution especially after the 18th Amendment while remaining were being debated in the country whether they should be adopted or not.
This showed that the demands by the Awami League were progressive reforms proposed well ahead of their time.
However, as a result of these demands, they were dubbed traitors, put behind bars, and were not given the right to govern the country despite winning the majority in the elections which led to the dismemberment of Pakistan. This was the undisputed reality of history, he said.
The former Prime Minister said that there was a need to understand the current circumstances in the country by reflecting upon the events of 1971 because Pakistan was faced with similar situation. Because it was undeniable that if the state would not respect the public vote and grant them the true right to self-govern, the country would not progress.
The PML-N Senior Vice President said the only reason Bangladesh progressed more than Pakistan was that their democratic system was allowed to continue despite mutinies and other obstacles.
This is the lesson we must learn from the fall of Dhaka and the APS tragedy. This is what this country needs to think hard about because there is no alternative. Countries cannot function successfully without democratic rule, democracies cannot function without abiding by the constitution, and constitutions are not empowered in a country where the vote of the people is not respected, he said
“The entire world was progressing while Pakistan was slipping down a slide. Why can’t a nuclear power run its economy, why can’t its industry boom, why can’t it provide a prosperous life to its people?” he questioned. The answer to this question is that a house divided against itself can never stand, he said. A country where the political system was intentionally weakened by buying, selling, and coercing loyalties, cannot function, progress or deliver to its people. No singular institution can progress unless the entire country and all its people progress, he said.
Addressing the seminar, PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal said Mujib-ur-Rehman of the Awami league saw how Fatima Jinnah, the sister of the founder of the nation, was treated, which turned his views more and more towards the extreme which led to the fall of Dhaka. This he said showed that unless the people were given their right to vote and self-govern, such disasters would continue. This he said was what needed to be learnt from the current situation where the people of Pakistan were once again being denied the power and respect of their vote.
Ahsan paid rich tribute to the martyrs of APS and said that the PML-N government led unprecedented operations against the terrorists with unshakeable resolve and rooted them out following the horrific attack. However, the PTI government was reversing all the gains made by those operations because of its incompetence. He said the people of Pakistan understand how this current government was eating the country at its very roots and were praying that this disastrous reign would end soon.