LAHORE -  Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique Sunday commended Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for his unequivocal support for the democratic system.

“Army chief’s briefing to the Senate is a significant event in our political history. His explicit support for democracy is encouraging and must be commended by all”, Saad said at a seminar.

The minister said it was an encouraging sign to note that army chief’s narrative on democracy was the same as that of all the political parties.

Nonetheless, Saad lamented that democracy had repeatedly been derailed in Pakistan. He also said that Pakistan had not yet been able to reap the true benefits of democracy. In an implied reference to the PTI and the PAT, the minister said that artificial political parties had damaged the country in a big way by doing negative politics. He viewed that staging sit-ins and blocking of roads was not the right way to lodge protests.

Saad asked Tahirul Qadri to let the courts decide the Model Town case instead of climbing on containers.

The minister believed that Pakistan was facing great challenges and no government, political party or institution could tackle these on their own. He said Pakistan’s external enemies were just waiting for an opportunity to harm the country. He said his party wanted to move forward by taking all stakeholders on board, but they must forgive each other for their mistakes.

Criticism on a particular decision should not be taken as an attack on the judiciary, he said, adding that there was no question of launching an anti-judiciary movement. He said he could not support the Supreme Court’s decisions to disqualify Nawaz Sharif,  Yousaf Raza Gilani and Jahangir Tareen.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal alleged that those conspiring against the democratic setup way back in 2014 were behind the Model Town incident. He also said that Shehbaz Sharif broke to tears in one of the meetings and said that Model Town incident as a burden on his conscience. He also took the opportunity to criticise PTI chief Imran Khan saying that even a councilor could better run the system than Khan. Ahsan questioned how many Mega Watts of electricity had been produced by the PTI government in KP to make the province self-sufficient.

The minister alleged Imran Khan closed down offices of Accountability Commission in his province after commissions’ chief laid his hands on the corrupt people close to the PTI chief.

Ahsan also censured the PTI chief for demanding early elections, saying that he was doing so to save himself from the anticipated embarrassment in the upcoming Senate elections. He revealed that majority of the PTI parliamentarians were not going to vote in favour their party’s candidates in Senate elections.