PTI leaders stress talks to end political crisis

Mumtaz Alvi
Sunday, Apr 09, 2023

By News Desk

LAHORE: Central leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) insisted on Saturday that dialogue was the only way forward to end the political crisis and hold elections in the country.

Addressing a press conference here along with former federal minister Hammad Azhar, Fawad Chaudhry said the government, establishment and PTI had to sit together to finalise the rules of the game for elections. “However, you (the establishment and govt) have to accept the people of Pakistan’s right to vote,” he underscored.

Censuring the government for confusing the public about matters of judiciary, the former information minister said that discussions around judicial benches were not a public issue. “Elections are the solution to the problems of Pakistanis,” he reiterated.

The politician said that the country was being pushed towards a political crisis. “The demand for the chief justice’s resignation is aimed at diverting the public attention from other matters. Pakistan has reached this extent because of the present political leadership,” he added. He appreciated the political approach of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), saying they did two positive things i.e. “refused to become a part of the smear campaign against the judiciary and asserted that political parties did not shut doors on talks.”

About Supreme Court judge Athar Minallah’s dissenting note, Fawad said: “We have a relationship of respect with Athar Minallah, and no one can point a finger at him and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah.” He added that all judges of the apex court were respected by his party.

The former minister also praised President Arif Alvi’s decision to return the Supreme Court (Practice and Procedure) Bill, 2023, curtailing the powers of the country’s chief justice.

“The president took a good decision by sending the bill back. The nation stands with the judges,” he said.

Also speaking on the occasion, PTI leader Hammad Azhar said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) troupe was imposed on the countrymen with great pomp. He censured the government for the rising inflation.

“The inflation rate is 34 per cent, while vegetables, pulses, ghee and everything has become expensive. Foreign exchange reserves have dropped to $9 billion and friendly countries have refused to help us,” the former PTI minister highlighted.

He lamented the rupee’s downward spiral and said debt had multiplied. “Industrial performance has become negative, 50pc of industries are closed. Export has also declined,” Hammad said. The PTI leader claimed several million people were unemployed, while four million people had gone below the poverty line in a year’s time.

Separately, in a statement issued here on Saturday, Fawad Chaudhry advised the government not to subject legislation to the wishes of a few (people). He made it clear that reducing the President’s powers by amending the Elections Act was a foolish legislation.

“You breathe, think and amend your politics. No one will accept amendments in such a hurry,” Fawad added.

Meanwhile, reacting to the government’s demand of resignation of the Chief Justice of Pakistan, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar claimed so many are scared of Imran Khan, are ready to break the Constitution and demand that the Chief Justice should resign. “What are you guys,” he wondered.

Meanwhile, the PTI moved the SC against the acquittal of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and senior PMLN leader Maryam Nawaz in corruption cases worth billions of rupees.

The PTI has decided to become a party to the corruption case involving PM Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz due to NAB’s reluctance to file an appeal in the Supreme Court (SC) against their acquittal.

In this context, PTI Central Additional Secretary General Senator Azam Khan Swati filed a formal application in the apex court, pleading that NAB was hesitant to file an appeal in the SC against the acquittal of Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz for being under severe pressure.

He stated in the petition that the PTI had decided to become a party to the mega corruption case, requesting the apex court to allow the largest party representing the people in the Federation of Pakistan to become a party to the case.

Senator Swati contended the NAB was the first target of the ‘imported government’ after regime change conspiracy was pushed through to save their skins.

He alleged that the (government) amended the NAB law to clip the wings of the accountability bureau in order to make it a powerless entity in order to protect and safeguard the thieves and crooks involved in billions of rupee corruption from detention.

Swati reminded that the NAB chairman had to resign from his post due to unnecessary interference and constant pressure from the Sharifs. He said the PTI would not allow the loot and plunder of the national wealth come what may.

Separately, PTI Women’s Wing staged a protest in Rawalpindi against the unprecedented inflation and the government’s inability to control the trend.

PTI Women Wing President Kanwal Shauzab led the protest. She said people had been burdened with inflation by the fascist gang imposed on the country for a year. She quoted the data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to show where prices of basic commodities, like flour, sugar and other fruits were early last year and are presently.

“Inflation has broken the record of the last 75 years,” she pointed out.