Maulana Fazlur Rehman says Parliament has no confidence in Supreme Court bench hearing election case n FM Bilawal Bhutto Zardari says ‘difficult’ to convince allied parties for dialogue ‘until and unless court order is suspended’ n Our stance is that general elections should be held on time and on same day: Bilawal.
We accept justice but we will not accept your hammer: Fazl
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman Thursday said that Parliament is the country’s most supreme institution and nobody can interfere in its authority.
Addressing a news conference, the PDM chief criticised the recent statements of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. He said Imran Khan should put before the nation the performance of the tenure when he was the prime minister.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman rejected the possibility of dialogue with PTI Chairman Imran Khan despite the directives issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan a day earlier.
Fazl, who is also chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), further said that there will be no need for any negotiations with PTI leader.
He went on to say that there is no possibility of any negotiations with PTI and the top court as well. The PDM chief also accused the apex court of being partial to the PTI chief stating that if the Supreme Court shows flexibility towards Imran Khan then why can’t they show flexibility towards others parties.
The PDM chief criticised the court of being partial in the matter. “Is this a court or a panchayat?”
Maulana Fazl said: that the court ‘wants us to agree on a date for the elections’. According to the Constitution, it is mandatory to hold elections within 90 days, but if Imran Khan agrees on a date, then it is right.” He added, “The court should clarify its position on the matter.”
The JUI-F chief declared that the apex court should abide by the rules set by Parliament. “The authority under which the court is pressuring us is no longer its authority. “Parliament has no confidence in the bench. More than one resolution has been passed and the Attorney General has informed them that we have no confidence in the bench.” “Should I appear in front of the bench on which there is no confidence?” he demanded.
Discussing the apex court’s role in the election fiasco in the country, the PDM chief called the SC’s behaviour as “oppressive”. “We are not ready to accept this oppression of the court. “We call this entire process a non-political process.” He demanded to know how long people would have to continue being misled and blackmailed by these things.
He further said that there was a time when it was said to talk under the shadow of a gun. Today, we are being forced to negotiate in front of the hammer.” “We accept justice, we will not accept your hammer,” he said.
About his meeting with Bilawal, the PDM leader said that the PPP chief his residence on Wednesday to offer his condolences on the death of Mufti Abdul Shakoor. He further added that he had met Bilawal in person and had spoken to PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on the phone, adding that he had also held telephonic conversations with PML-N leadership and ministers.
The PDM chief said that if the apex court tried to impose decisions by force, they would turn to the “people’s court.”
If they are willing to be such biased parties, he said, they should come into politics. “Then we will know how much water they are in.”
Maulana Fazl then lambasted the PTI chief and said, “Imran Khan is facing four/five cases in various courts and he may be disqualified soon.” “He should tell us about his performance during his three-and-a-half years in power.”
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stressed that dialogue amongst the political parties is imperative to achieve political and economic stability.
He said the PPP is making endeavors to convince the allied parties to take forward this process. He said our effort is to save the democracy and the federation. The foreign minister however said it will be difficult for the PPP to convince the allied parties for dialogue with the opponents until and unless the court order of holding elections in Punjab on the 14th May is suspended.
He said holding elections in one province at this point in time will impact the results of elections in other three provinces. He said we support the idea of holding the elections on one day across the country.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the coalition parties are standing firm in backing the decisions taken at the platform of the parliament.
Responding to a question, the Foreign Minister said he will represent Pakistan in the foreign ministers meeting of SCO to be held in India next month. He said we are committed to the SCO charter and this visit should not be seen as a bilateral one but in the context of the SCO. Bilawal said that he will contact all political parties before visiting India. “We will take feedback from political parties and devise strategy in the light of it,” he underlined.
Bilawal- who is also the Foreign Minister – said the PPP was in favour of holding elections on the same day and ready to talk with everyone for this purpose. “All the parties of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) stand by the decisions of the Parliament. If elections are held ahead of time in one province at the behest of one party, it will have a negative impact on the entire country,” he contended.
Bilawal said, “Our negotiation efforts are still in the process. A summit meeting of all parties was to be held after Eid. Our stand has been that elections should be held on time.”
In contrast, he said, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had obtained a stay order from the Peshawar, Lahore and Sindh High Courts that elections should not be held in their constituencies before 60 days.
During former prime minister Imran Khan’s tenure, he said, the court’s order regarding local bodies’ elections in Punjab was not obeyed. “In Sindh we could not even elect our own mayor despite months having passed since the elections,” he added. The PPP chief said that he was constantly striving for consensus. The PPP chairman said that Pakistan’s democracy is a young democracy, there were definitely dangers. “We were earlier trying to get the allies on the same page in terms of negotiations. We had difficulties in reaching a consensus among allies on negotiations. If negotiations are attempted with a gun to head, then how can a consensus be reached? Before meeting Maulana Sahib (Fazlur Rehman), I was hopeful that we might be able to reach an agreement. However, if there is an impression of setting up a panchayat (tribal court) or negotiations at gunpoint, then how can we be successful,” he said.
“We formed a committee for the purpose and sent Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Naveed Qamar and Qamar Zaman Kaira to all parties. Yesterday, we also went to Dera Ismail Khan to meet Maulana Fazlur Rehman. It is becoming difficult to agree on a couple of matters among the allies,”
Bilawal said negotiations were paramount for political forces. “We are trying our best, we have been doing it before, and we are doing it now. Even today, we understand that democracy is in danger if no solution can be found through political dialogue. If there is political stability in the country, there will be economic stability,” he added.
FM Bilawal said that the public had no interest in whether it was a 3/4 decision or a 2/3 decision. “The common man is concerned about bread for his children. We want to get rid of these problems of people. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on the economic situation or the flood victims’ rehabilitation, we have become involved in other issues,” he remarked.
Bilawal said the judiciary has never been so divided in the history of Pakistan. “I hope that before retiring, the chief justice will create consensus among his judges just like creating consensus among political parties, “Bilawal said. The PPP chief said if the Chief Justice could forge a consensus among his judges before retiring, he would earn himself a place in history.