Senate of Pakistan

Mushahid says PML vision believes in Quaid-e-Azam's vision of progressive, tolerant and democratic Pakistan

Mushahid says PML vision believes in Quaid-e-Azam's vision of progressive, tolerant and democratic Pakistan
November 9, 2012

As part of their efforts to garner support for their party’s referendum to be held on November 14 against growing extremism and the influx of Taliban militants into the city, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders met politicians belonging to the Pakistan Muslim Leauge-Functional (PML-F) and the PML-Q on Thursday.

An MQM delegation, comprising Coordination Committee members Waseem Aftab, Sindh Health Minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed and Wasay Jalil, met PML-F leader Imtiaz Sheikh at the latter’s residence and sought his party’s cooperation and support for the countrywide referendum. They also met Mushahid Hussain Sayed, general secretary of the PML-Q.

Later, speaking to journalists, Sheikh said his party was the party of the Quaid-e-Azam and “we would surely struggle to save the Quaid’s Pakistan”. He said the PML-F also wanted a Pakistan based on the Quaid-e-Azam’s vision and principles.

He said his would discuss the issue and the MQM’s request with his party’s senior leaders, including the party chief, Pir Pagara.

Sheikh said the MQM and the PML-F had old ties and certain differences, but “our stance on Pakistan is the same”. He said both wanted Pakistan to be cleansed of militant and extremist groups. “We have always wanted peace in the province and an atmosphere of brotherhood should prevail in the province which is in the best interest of the country.”

The PML-F leader urged that all political parties should adopt policies of tolerance and patience and also respect the mandate of each other, a basic norm of democracy.

Waseem Aftab said that keeping in view the present situation of the country the MQM had decided to hold the referendum. “We believe in dialogue and want to negotiate on every issue. In this respect, we have also decided to take all the political parties on board to rid the country of the present turmoil with special reference to Taliban, who have caused great damage to the country.”

He said they would be meeting leaders of other political parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Jamaat-e-Islami, in this regard.

Later, the MQM delegation met PML-Q General Secretary Mushahid Hussain and discussed the political situation of the country, particularly Karachi.

Speaking to media after the meeting, Waseem Aftab said the vision of all parties was identical in terms of saving Pakistan from terrorism. He said the MQM was holding the referendum to ascertain people’s views on whether they wanted the Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan or the one wanted by the extremists.

Senator Hussain, who is also chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence, said the Rangers should be sent back to the borders as they had been deployed in the province for the last 18 years but had failed to produce any remarkable result in terms of restoring peace to Karachi.
Hussain, who had come to the city to address a seminar at the IDEAS-2012 at Expo Centre, was talking to the media after meeting the MQM delegation at the PML-Q’s Sindh Secretariat.

He said that every patriotic Pakistani had a clear vision and had no two opinions about whether they wanted the Pakistan of the Quaid-e-Azam, Madir-e- Millat Fatima Jinnah and Allama Iqbal.

He said the MQM and the PML-Q enjoyed congenial relations and it was the national consensus that Pakistan should have progressive, positive, inclusive and tolerant policies. “We want the Pakistan of our founding fathers for which every individual will have to struggle.”

The senator said it was the need of the hour that politically motivated recruitment in the police department should be stopped and all political parties should denounce the Sifariash culture. He also asked all political parties to disband their militant wings and take concrete measures to resolve this basic issue and take the turbulent city back to normalcy.

Continuing in the same vein, Hussain pointed to the lack of a counter-terror strategy and called for drawing up a formal strategy to eradicate terrorism once and for all.

“Political parties should start a consultation in order to get the paramilitary force out of towns and cities and give them the task of safeguarding the borders,” he said, adding that he wanted to see the police empowered.

Hussain observed that parliament had to play an assertive role, keeping in mind the emerging realities at national, regional and global levels. He said there were multiple power centres in the country playing their due role.

He remarked that parliament was there for the people, the judiciary was independent, the media was vibrant and civil society was actively participating in decision-making. Pakistan was now a changed state where different power centres playing their own role dedicatedly, he said.

Responding to various questions, the PML-Q senator said that the US had failed in Afghanistan because of its own flawed policies. He claimed that the regional situation demanded that Pakistan play an active role to protect and promote its national interests.

He said the Standing Committee would revisit the defence paradigm and prepare a Defence Policy Strategy Document. He remarked that the Standing Committee would establish new parliamentary traditions and seek guidance from all stakeholders, including defence and security institutions, think tanks and the media, to formulate solid recommendations to strengthen the defence and national security of the country.

To another question, he said that this was for the first time in the history of Pakistan that an honest chief election commissioner, Justice (Retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, had taken charge and hopefully elections under his supervision would be free fair and transparent.

“It is now the election year and all political parties are mobilising their resources and in Sindh our party General Secreatary Haleem Adil Sheikh is all set” to take the party to the top.

With regard to differences between the PPP and PML-Q, he said things had been settled and in the democratic system everyone had to respect the mandate of every party.

He termed the detailed verdict announced by the Supreme Court in the Asghar Khan case historic and hoped that it would end the role of agencies in maneuvering election results.

The ruling was a landmark decision through which the SC had exposed the ugly face of politicians who betrayed the people’s mandate, he said, adding that the rule of law was necessary to cleanse Pakistani politics.

“The Supreme Court has played its part; it is up to us now to implement the decision. The culprits should be punished and justice ensured before the next coming elections. The decision of the Supreme Court should be implemented in all elections. Surely, the punishment of the wrongdoers in this case would be a significant deterrent for future adventurers in our armed forces.”

Hussain suggested three measures to the US administration for maintaining cordial relations with Pakistan, ie halting of drone attacks, holding dialogue on security issues and no more war in the region. He said the region could not afford any more war as Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Iran were neighbours. Some elements within the US were confronting them, he added.

Hussain said the PML-Q would go in the next elections under a seat adjustment formula with the PPP, the MQM, the ANP, the JUI-F and others. He said that if Imran Khan came “for Gup shup we will have” it.

Source: The News

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