PTI should accept its ouster from power democratically, says Gilani

ISLAMABAD – PPP leader and former prime minister Senator Yousuf Raza Gilani Tuesday said in the Senate that the opposition PTI should accept the reality that it had been ousted from power through a democratic and constitutional process of vote of no-confidence.

“They (PTI) should accept it…they should say that we have lost the majority,” Senator Gilani told the upper house while responding to the criticism of opposition PTI on the ruling coalition.

He said that the opposition party in its around four years rule had itself been violating human rights and put many leaders of the then opposition parties behind the bars.

“Had they not arrested Nawaz Sharif, (PM) Shehbaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Maryam Nawaz, Khursheed Shah and CM Punjab Hamza Shehbaz,” he questioned.

The PPP leader was responding to the allegations of the opposition leader in the house that the government had ordered the arrest of women and political leaders of PTI to stop them from participating in the protest long march.

He said that when Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a coalition of opposition parties, had held its first rally in Multan, then PTI government had sealed the whole city and electricity and gas connections were disrupted while his two sons were put behind bars. “What reference are they now giving?”

Senator Gilani said that PTI in the past had made the capital hostage during its sit-in held in 2014. “There is no way that they protest in Islamabad and hold musical evenings there… The government cannot allow this.”

He said that the matter of sit-in was sub judice before the court and let the court decide. “But they (PTI) would not be allowed to dictate when elections have to be held.

He said that the PTI should leave the policy of dual standards. When the political parties including MQM, BAP and PML-Q were with them, all were being labelled as patriots and when they left the PTI, they were labelled as traitors, he added.

Gilani said that his father was a signatory to the Resolution of Pakistan and questioned how they can be called traitors?

He said that there should be some limits for PTI because party chairman Iman Khan had now demanded the resignation of US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu.

Opp stages walkout from Senate against alleged action against its workers, leaders

He said that PTI was violating the constitution every day and was involved in unconstitutional acts. He urged that the President has to act on the advice of prime minister but the former was constantly denying the advice of latter asking to appoint the new governor Punjab. He said that Governor Punjab Omar Sarfraz Cheema in a controversial order reinstated the Buzdar government and its cabinet, which is “the joke of the year.”

 

Earlier, the PTI protested in the house alleging that the ruling coalition has ordered police crackdown on its workers, supporters and leadership ahead of its today’s anti-government long march to Islamabad.

The opposition party staged a protest walkout from the house after it criticized the government for its alleged action against the political workers to stop them from participating in the protest demonstration.

On the other hand, the treasury tried to downplay the situation by saying that the government would act only while remaining within the limits of law and Constitution but did not allow any armed group or mob to enter the capital.

Speaking in the house, Leader of the Opposition in the House Dr Shahzad Waseem said that the police, the other night, broke into houses of party leadership and its workers and have made a large number of arrests. He said that the police have not only arrested the PTI leadership but also the party’s women have not been spared.

Calling the police crackdown as “the worst form the state terrorism” and human rights violation, Senator Waseem said that the police forcibly entered into the house of Justice (retd) Nasira Javed Iqbal in Lahore because she was the mother of party Senator Waleed Iqbal. “Where are those people who used to talk about law and Constitution and human rights?”

The opposition leader said that it was a clear ruling of the Islamabad High Court that no lawmaker would be arrested without informing either the speaker National Assembly or chairman Senate. “The government should not create hurdles in the way of peaceful protest of PTI.”

Leader of the House Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar in his response said that they had been trying to make the last PTI government understand about the things pointed out by the leader of the opposition. He alleged the PTI for ending politeness in politics and introduced fascist methods to rule the country. He underlined that major leaders of the PML-N were put behind the bars during the last government but the speaker NA did not issue production orders of any of the leaders. “Whether their conscience was sleeping at that time,” he said.

The opposition leader assured the house that the government wouldn’t violate the law and the Constitution while dealing with the protest march.

Senators belonging to PPP and PML-N also called for abolishing National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the anti-corruption watchdog.

PPP Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi was the first one who raised the issue during the question hour session and said the latest report of the transparency International showed the ratio of corruption had increased in the country. He questioned the performance of NAB.

PML-N Senator Saadia Abbasi said that the government should have the courage to abolish NAB as it was a discredited institute.

Law Minister and Leader of the House Azam Nazir Tarar said that the parliament had the authority either to close down NAB or amend the law that governs the bureau. He said the NAB Amendment Ordinance promulgated in haste will soon be introduced in the parliament.

He said there should be safety valves in the law so that no one could misuse it for arm twisting of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen.

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