ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday said that the whole nation was united in the face of the ‘invasion’ and ‘mutiny’ against the State of Pakistan by a few thousand people.
“This House should remove the misperception that these protests by the PTI and PAT are political protests or sit-ins. This is a rebellion against the State of Pakistan and its institutions,” he said while opening the debate in the joint sitting of parliament here on Tuesday.
The joint session, which started on Tuesday to discuss the latest political situation, will continue till Friday. All the political parties backed parliament and the Constitution, and urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif not to resign at any cost.
Chaudhry Nisar sought guidance from the joint sitting of parliament to deal with the situation. He said parliament was the voice of 180 million people and stood united against mutiny and mob violence. “The protesters stormed the Parliament House and other state buildings raising slogans in support of Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan. They are not revolutionaries, they are intruders and terrorists,” he declared adding the protesters are trained terrorists armed with axes, batons, hammers, cutters and catapults. “Nearly 1,000 trained terrorists associated with the militant wing of a party are involved in these attacks,” he claimed.
He said Imran Khan had attempted to drag the army and the judiciary into politics, which is a heinous crime. He suggested that parliament and the Supreme Court should summon the president and chairman of PTI to inquire why they used the name of the army for political purposes as the institution had time and again declared itself apolitical.
Referring to the PTI and PAT protests, Nisar said that there are only 2,000 people gathered outside. He said the entire country was on one page while the mob was on the other page. He wondered what had happened in the last few months that made Imran Khan change his mind.
The minister denounced the attacks on the Prime Minister’s House, parliament and the Pakistan Television building by the supporters of PTI and PAT. He said the protesters not only damaged the machinery of the PTV on Monday but also took away eight cameras worth millions of rupees. They misbehaved with a woman broadcaster and snatched her cellphone and valuables. “They also forcefully entered the mosque inside the PTV headquarters and took away loudspeakers and prayer rugs,” he added.
He said that he had clear information that some of these protesters were trained terrorists belonging to a militant outfit. “An inquiry will be held with the cooperation of Nadra to identify these persons,” he added.
He said the so-called flag bearers of change and revolution were violating all rules and regulations as well as the Constitution. He said using the name of the army for political purposes was a criminal act and the two protesting parties wrongly used the name of this institution to forward their nefarious agenda.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said despite the use of violence by the stick-wielding protesters, there were clear orders to the police not to use force against them. He appreciated the security forces for demonstrating patience in the face of violence.
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan of PPP said he fully supported the government in the present political crisis but pointed out that those who were responsible for premature departure of Nawaz Sharif’s governments in the past were still sitting on the right and left of the prime minister. He said they were standing by the democracy unconditionally, adding that the government would have to bring a change in its behaviour.
He wondered why those demanding the resignation of the prime minister did not ask the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to resign. “The KP chief minister himself got the motion of no-confidence submitted against him so that the provincial assembly could not be removed,” he said.
He hoped the prime minister would not resign as he did in 1993. “On April 13, 1993, Nawaz Sharif said he will not resign but on April 18, he resigned,” he said adding that nobody could force Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign.
However, he complained that the prime minister did not come to the Senate for one year while his cabinet members also do not take the Upper House seriously. He urged the government to change its attitude towards parliament.
Aitzaz Ahsan said he belonged to a family with the army background and was aware of the fact that the army officers were always well-informed. “The corps commanders can see that in the last 20 to 21 days, Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri have been raising slogans of Inqilab but the masses have rejected their call,” he said.
He maintained that the two houses comprising over 400 parliamentarians were standing behind the democratic government and nobody could force the prime minister to resign.
Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of MQM said his party believes in the Constitution and the democratic system and urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should sacrifice to save the system. He said a few thousand people today would not have dared to challenge the democratic system had efforts been made to strengthen the system. He condemned the attacks on the state buildings by the protesters, saying the use of violence was not an appropriate way to get the demands fulfilled.He said that the PTI leadership was also dreaming of conquering Karachi after playing havoc with the federal capital. (Courtesy: The News)