Zardari stops PPP members from attending PAT event

LAHORE: PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari stopped on Tuesday members of his party from attending Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s ‘martyrs day’ gathering to be held in Lahore on Aug 10.

Earlier, PPP Secretary-General Sardar Latif Khosa had announced that the party’s members would attend the gathering to be organised by PAT to pay tribute to the victims of the Model Town incident.

Taking notice of Sardar Khosa’s statement, Mr Zardari declared that no member of his party would be attending the PAT event.

He also asked leaders of his party to exercise caution while issuing statements regarding Dr Tahirul Qadri’s “revolution march” and Imran Khan’s “Azadi march”.

“We don’t want to give the slightest impression that the PPP is supporting Dr Qadri,” the former president’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar told Dawn.

“We condemn the Model Town incident and sympathise with families of the victims. But the PPP will not attend any PAT event because doing so may give the impression that we are supporting Dr Qadri,” Mr Babar remarked.

“This is our party’s policy statement on the issue,” he added.

Because he is active in efforts to “save democracy” and contacting various opposition leaders to find a way out of the ongoing political crisis, Mr Zardari does not want to give an impression that his party is supporting PAT or PTI at this critical juncture, according to sources in the PPP.

“Mr Zardari wants the PPP leaders to give a clear message that their party is with democratic forces and fully supports the PML-N and wants it to complete its tenure,” the sources added.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2014


Asif Zardari telephones Imran Khan and Sirajul Haq

August 5, 2014: Co-Chairman Pakistan People’s Party former President Asif Ali Zardari Tuesday afternoon telephoned separately PTI chief Imran Khan and Amir JI Sirajul Haq from London and exchanged views on the current political situation in the country.

Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that in telephonic talk with Mr. Imran Khan the former President said that the PPP agreed with the contention of recount in the disputed constituencies under the law and opposed the calling in of troops in Islamabad under Article 245 of the Constitution. However, it was also crucial that no opportunity was provided to anyone to derail the democratic system in the country behind the façade of political instability, he said.

The baby should not be thrown out with bath water; the Spokesperson quoted Mr. Zardari as having said.

In telephonic talk with JI Amir Sirajul Haq the former President also reiterated the same view point saying also that he believed that the guiding principle should be that worst democracy was better any so called benign dictatorship.

Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the thrust of the phone calls of former President was emphasis on protecting and promoting democracy and constitutionalism and at the same time send a clear message to the government to listen to the voices of reason and logic and not overshoot the bullet.

He said that Mr Zardari is genuinely and seriously concerned over the direction and momentum of the political course in the country. He is keen to consult all political forces in a bid to protect democratic structures from being undermined under any pretext and the phone calls are part of the consultative process.

At the same time the former President is keen to dissuade the government from any knee jerk reaction or embarking upon an irrational and illogical course that may result in political instability and expose democratic institutions to new and unforeseen kinds of threats.

Meanwhile in reply to a question the Spokesperson said that the PPP will not participate in the PAT’s gathering on August 10 in Lahore ostensibly to pay homage to the victims of June 17 Model Town tragedy.

While the PPP condemns the Model town incident, calls for registration of FIR, holding of judicial inquiry and punishment to those who transgressed authority and also deeply sympathizes with bereaved families of the victims it will not do anything that might be seen as aligning with PAT’s so called ‘revolution march’ on Islamabad, he said.

The Spokesperson said that the PPP believes that calling in troops under Article 245 is a fatal decision that will have serious repercussions and said that the decision should be reviewed by the government.

PPP dubs Article 245 enforcement as ‘mini martial law’

ISLAMABAD- Reacting sharply to the enforcement of Article 245 of the constitution, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) today demanded of the government to immediately withdraw its decision.
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah dubbed enforcement of Article 245 as ‘mini-martial law.’
Shah, said that fundamental rights of citizens would get suspended with this decision of the government, adding his party was disturbed over the move.
Shah said the Pakistan People’s Party always supported democracy but by calling Army in Islamabad, government was showing its weakness.
He said that the government was in a state of ‘panic’ because of the political threat posed by Dr Tahriul Qadri, adding that PPP would continue striving to save the democracy.
He asked why the Parliament wasn’t taken into confidence before calling the military in Islamabad, adding that PM Nawaz Sharif should learn from mistakes of the past.
The opposition leader argued that if democracy derailed, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf would be responsible, and also announced a movement against the government’s move if the decision is not reversed.
A debate is continuing in the National Assembly on Article 245, under which Army is called in to help the civil administration, after normal proceedings were suspended.
Before Eid-ul-Fitr, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan announced that army will be called in from August 1 in aide of the civil administration for the security of capital Islamabad.
Source: The Nation

PPP will not let govt collapse: Khursheed Shah

‘Ready to mediate between govt and PTI’
ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah on Monday categorically said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would not let the government collapse.
“We will neither allow anyone to topple the democratic government nor will we become part of any such move. If the PML-N and PTI desire, the PPP is ready to play a reconciliatory role between them,” he said while talking to media persons after meeting Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, who visited his chamber on Monday prior to the National Assembly session.Khursheed Shah communicated strong reservations of the opposition to the government about the imposition of Article 245 of the Constitution in Islamabad.
Talking to newsmen, Khursheed Shah said Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan should not go to the point of return. He also advised Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to talk to the PTI.

To a question about the imposition of Article 245 of the Constitution in Islamabad, Khursheed said the PML-N should tell what emergency in Islamabad had forced them to impose the article.‘The government should not have taken such a step that would only add fuel to the fire,” he remarked.
Source: The News International

PPP totally committed to the continuity of democracy: Mian Manzoor Wattoo

Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President Punjab PPP, has reiterated that the PPP was totally committed to the continuity of the political system in the country and would not allow its derailment come what may. He said this in a statement issued from here today.

He mentioned that the PPP previous democratic government completed the five year constitutional tenure in pursuance of the political foresight of the former President Asef Ali Zardari which was based on mutual consultation and reconciliation along with taking all political parties on board on all important issues of national importance.

He maintained that unfortunately there was trust deficit between the ruling party and the rest of the majority of political parties and the mandarin’s reluctance to extend olive branch had futher complicated the political environment of the country filled with apprehensions of hurting the system.

He maintained that the protests and the processions would not lead to the downfall of the elected government but the blunders of the incumbent government could because they were known for shooting their feet with their own gun.

He urged the government to negotiate with the Parties at all cost even it had to resort to door crashing adding that the time was the essence and there no room for the indecisiveness and complacency.

He called upon that the government should not contemplate to the pre-emptive arrests of the political opponents and instead engage them to defuse the situation by accepting their demands. Their delay to the vote verification of four seats has led to the demand of mid-term polls, he observed.

He said that the mid terms polls were not unconstitutional as maintained by the some quarters adding that the Prime Minister of Pakistan could dissolve the Assembly for seeking fresh mandate if in his judgment the conditions prevailing in the country warranted so.

Mian Manzoor Ahed Watto pointed out that it was the sole prerogative of the Prime Minister to take such decision and nobody else was empowered to do so for which the credit goes to the PPP leaders.

He recalled that the former President Asef Ali Zardari voluntarily delegated this notorious power, 58-2/ B, to the Parliament and now the leader of the House was totally empowered to decide the fate of the incumbents National Assembly.

پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی پنجاب کے صدر میاں منظور احمد وٹو نے آج یہاں سے جاری ایک بیان میں کہا ہے کہ انکی پارٹی جمہوریت کے تسلسل کی کسی قیمت پر کوئی بارگیننگ کرے گی اور نہ ہی اسے پٹڑی سے اترنے دیگی۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ پیپلز پارٹی کی پچھلی جمہوری حکومت نے صدر آصف علی زرداری کی سیاسی حکمت عملی کی بدولت اپنی آئینی مدت پوری کی۔ انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ مفاہمت، رواداری اور دوسری جماعتوں کو اعتماد میں لینا انکی سیاسی حکمت عملی کی بنیاد تھی۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ بدقسمتی سے موجودہ حکومت ان خصوصیات سے عاری ہے جسکی وجہ سے حکومت اور اکثر سیاسی جماعتوں کے درمیان بداعتمادی کی فضاء پیدا ہو گئی ہے مزید برآں حکومت نے بھی صلح صفائی کی خلوص نیت سے کوشش نہیں کی جس سے ملک کا سیاسی ماحول اور سنگین ہو گیا ہے جس میں جمہوریت کے لیے خطرات موجود ہیں۔ میاں منظور احمد وٹو نے کہا کہ احتجاج اور جلوسوں سے حکومت نہیں گرے گی، اگر گرے گی تو حکومت کی اپنی فاش غلطیوں سے گرے گی کیونکہ پاکستان مسلم لیگ کی قیادت اپنے پاؤں پر کلہاڑی مارنے کے لیے مشہور ہے۔ میاں منظور احمد وٹو نے حکومت پر زور دیا کہ وہ فورًا ناراض سیاسی جماعتوں سے مذاکرات کرے اور انکے مطالبات کو تسلیم بھی کرے ۔مذاکرات شروع کرنے کے لیے اگر ڈور کریشنگ بھی کرنا پڑے تو کوئی حرج نہیں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ اس ضمن میں سستی نہیں کرنی چاہیے اور یہ وقت کا تقاضہ ہے۔ میاں منظور احمد وٹو نے حکومت سے کہا کہ وہ سیاسی مخالفین کی گرفتاریوں سے اجتناب کرے اسکے برعکس انکے ساتھ بات چیت کے ذریعے موجودہ سیاسی کشمکش کو ختم کرنے کے لیے خلوص دل سے کام کرے۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ حکومت کے 4حلقوں میں ووٹوں کی تصدیق کے مطالبے کو نہ مان کر اب بات مڈٹرم انتخابات تک جا پہنچی ہے۔ میاں منظور احمد وٹو نے کہا کہ مڈٹرم انتخابات کچھ ایسی انہونی نہیں ہے جیسا کہ بعض سرکل اسکو غیر آئینی قرار دے رہے ہیں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ آئین میں وزیراعظم پاکستان کو پورا پورا اختیار دیا گیا ہے کہ وہ جب چاہیں وہ اسمبلی کو توڑ دیں اگر وہ یہ سمجھیں کہ ملک میں حالات اس نہج پر پہنچ چکے ہیں جو نئے مینڈیٹ کے متقاضی ہیں۔ انہوں نے مزید کہا کہ یہ اختیار وزیراعظم کو سابق صدر آصف علی زرداری نے رضا کارانہ طور پر پارلیمنٹ کو دیا تھا تا کہ ماضی کی طرح صدر 58-2/b استعمال کرتے ہوئے جمہوری حکومتوں کو وقت سے پہلے گھر نہ بھیج سکے۔

To make Pakistan a true liberal, democratic and developed country.