Islamabad: On Saturday, lawmakers voiced their concern over the ongoing campaign against the country’s military services and urged political parties not to politicize state institutions.
Defense Minister Khawaja Asif stated on the floor of the National Assembly, without identifying Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, that if the army did not wish to play a political role, there was no need for anybody to refer to it during public meetings.
Mr. Khan made the statement while addressing the PTI’s power show in Lahore.
“Do not bring the army into politics if it desired to avoid it. Please allow the military, bureaucracy, and judiciary to operate within the confines of the constitution, urged the minister as Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf gave him the floor to begin a debate on the diamond jubilee of the country’s first constituent assembly.
The need for national discourse amongst all parties was emphasized during a NA special session.
Without naming Shahbaz Gill, the defense minister claimed that the imprisoned PTI member had ‘incited’ the army, which was ‘unacceptable.’ He added that the PPP and the PML-N had suffered at the hands of the establishment in the past, but they had never used the language employed by “that individual.”
Later, Ahmed Hussain Dharr, a PTI dissident, criticized Mr. Khan for allegedly defaming national institutions. He stated that people conducting a campaign against the national institutions were “traitors” who should be tried under Article 6 of the constitution.
Syed Khursheed Shah, a federal minister and leader of the PPP asked politicians to examine previous errors and identify individuals responsible for bringing the country to its current chaotic state.
Earlier, Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and all the parliamentary leaders unveiled a monumental image of Quaid-i-Azam in the National Assembly Chamber. Approximately 35 years ago, the renowned artist Saeed Akhtar was tasked with producing a portrait of Quaid-i-Azam for the first directly elected legislative body. In the shade of Mr. Akhtar’s painting, the first directly elected assembly not only took the oath but also drafted the constitution, according to him. Earlier in the day, the 90-year-old artist visited the convention organized for the ex-parliamentarians.
Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali, the lone Jamaat-i-Islami member, protested against the speaker for not inviting him to the portrait’s unveiling.
After inviting the members to watch fireworks outside the Parliament House, the speaker adjourned the session 15 minutes before midnight and announced that they would reconvene after midnight with a new agenda that would include “passage of a resolution on the diamond jubilee celebration of the first constituent assembly of Pakistan.”
After extending congratulations to the people, the speaker quickly adjourned the ceremonial midnight session so that the resolution could be passed in a convention of current and former lawmakers rather than by the National Assembly. The resolution was presented by former Member of the National Assembly Kashmala Tariq.
Earlier in the day, ex-legislators spoke at the convention. They painted a grim image of Pakistan’s political and economic state, calling for a “national discussion” to resolve its various challenges. They viewed the intrusions of the establishment as the primary reason for the poor status of democracy in Pakistan. They warned that the country could disintegrate if this practice was not stopped.
Also, there were veteran politician Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, former Punjab chief minister Manzoor Wattoo, and former Balochistan congressman Rauf Mengal.