IN THE NEWS: ALL OPPOSITION PARTIES AGREE ON ‘GO NAWAZ GO’ (JULY 12, 2017)

Written by admin on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Selected by Olivier Immig & Jan van Heugten

All opposition parties agree on ‘go Nawaz go’
SOURCE: The News International
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
By ASIM YASIN

ISLAMABAD: The main opposition parties, including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), have an agreement that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should resign after submission of the report of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to the Supreme Court (SC).

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday made a formal demand from Nawaz for resignation on legal grounds, saying, “I demanded resignation on moral grounds on Monday but after detailed study of report of the Joint Investigation Team, now we are demanding resignation from the prime minister on legal grounds as now he has lost the legal ground to remain the prime minister.”

He was addressing a press House along with opposition leader in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, PPP Secretary General Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, PPP Central Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira, Information Secretary Chaudhry Manzoor, Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman, Secretary General Parliamentarians Senator Farhatullah Babar, Punjab Information Secretary Mustafa Nawaz Kokhar and Media Coordinator Nazir Dhoki after chairing a meeting of PPP core committee.

Bilawal hinted that the PPP has the option of protest in and outside the parliament for demanding resignation of the prime minister. He said both options are on the table and tasked Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah with making contact with opposition parties for formulating a strategy for joint struggle to seek resignation from the prime minister.

“Unless and until the Prime Minister tenders his resignation, we will continue our protest and use all the legal and constitutional options,” he added. He said the JIT report clearly found the prime minister and his family guilty of concealing assets.

The PPP chairman suggested that a case should be filed against the prime minister and his family for forging documents which were presented to superior judiciary. Bilawal said Sharif family used to say that they had been presenting accounts of the last three generations for scrutiny. “But what we have found is that the report has exposed all three generations of the first family as thieves,” he remarked.

Asked whether he would also support the call for putting the name of the Sharif family members on Exit Control List on the basis of JIT report, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the rule of law should be equal for all. “It shouldn’t be that if a reference is filed against a politician from Sindh, his name is immediately placed on the exit control list, but rules change for the people of Punjab,” he observed.

The PPP chairman said his party was devising a future course of action and all options are on the table. Asked whether the PPP was ready for the elections, Bilawal replied in affirmative and pointed out his party’s victories in by-elections in Karachi and Gilgit Baltistan. He said people expressed their confidence in the PPP in Karachi, which is urban Sindh, and in Gilgit Baltistan where the PML-N has government. “The PPP would sweep the next general elections,” he added.

To another question with regard to the PML-N refusal of resignation of the prime minister and dubbing the JIT report “trash”, Bilawal said the PPP message is clear: stop hurling threats and give resignation as the prime minister has lost legal ground to remain on the post.

Khursheed Shah held a meeting with PTI Deputy Parliamentary Leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi to discuss the JIT report and the matter of the prime minister’s resignation and possibilities of convening the session of the National Assembly.

Talking to media after the meeting at his Chamber in the National Assembly, Shah said Nawaz had himself announced on the floor of the house that he will resign if the commission findings came against him.

He said the parliament was facing threats so the PM should resign to strengthen democracy and parliament. Shah said the Parliament was earlier under threat from a ‘container’ but today the parliament is under threat due to attitude of the prime minister and his party. “If Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns, then history will remember him otherwise his removal through any other means would not be in his as well as democracy’s interest,” he said.

Shah said according to JIT report, the prime minister and his family was found guilty and he demanded of the prime minister to resign forthwith.

He said the PPP in its tenure could challenge the Supreme Court verdict on disqualification of Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani but the PPP bowed before the judiciary for the best interest of the country but the present government instead of accepting the decision has started move to defame army and judiciary. “This attitude of the government and PML-N is against the interest of the country,” he said.

The opposition leader said the country runs through its institutions but efforts were being made to weaken institutions due to which the country is facing serious problems, internally and externally.

He said no one would have any objection if PML-N brought replacement of Nawaz Sharif. Earlier, PTI’s Shafqat Mahmood, Shireen Mazari and Rubina Khalid of the PPP were present in the meeting between Shah and Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Sources said the two opposition parties discussed the situation arising out of the JIT report’s submission in the Supreme Court on Monday. The opposition parties will soon request for a joint session of the Parliament to discuss the JIT report and the matter of the prime minister’s resignation.

In the meanwhile, talking to newsmen after the meeting, PTI Deputy Parliamentary Leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the purpose of calling the joint session is to remind the premier of the promise he made on the assembly’s floor.

He explained that the prime minister had vowed to step down if he is held guilty of corruption. The PTI leader expressed satisfaction with the JIT report, saying they are on the same page with PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan.

Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) President and former Prime Minister Ch Shujat Hussain said that presently the country cannot afford any constitutional crisis. He said demand of the time is that Nawaz Sharif instead of weakening constitutional institutions for personal ego should accept their verdicts. JIT report is under consideration of the Supreme Court whose verdict on it will be acceptable to the people, he said.

Talking to his party leaders at his residence here Tuesday, Shujaat said politicians with serious thinking in the country should play positive role at this time and make ongoing campaign for elimination of corruption from the country successful.

He said PML-Q does not consider JIT recommendations controversial in any manner, but verdict has to be made by the Supreme Court and they should wait for it. He said, “Our party has decided to establish contacts with like-minded political parties and politicians because presently no party alone can pull the country out of difficult circumstances. It is inevitable that forces having national thinking should unite at one platform.”

A private TV channel has reported that MQM Pakistan chief Dr Farooq Sattar urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down. Addressing media personnel, Farooq Sattar said that his party had held a detailed meeting after the JIT report was submitted to the Supreme Court and had held consultations on what stance to take.

“This JIT was formed and constituted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan,” he said. “The contents of the JIT report, most of it, have also been made public,” he added. Farooq Sattar said that he had also consulted MQM’s legal experts with regard to the JIT report. He said that it was better for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take the decision to step down on his own.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should resign,” he said. Sattar said that there should be justice in the country and that billions of money sent abroad was money laundering. He said that the Prime Minister himself had welcomed the formation of the JIT yet later on, the investigation team was made controversial.

Faisal Kamal Pasha adds: All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) has demanded resignation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while saying that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has badly exposed his dishonesty and corruption before general public and world community.

Principally and ethically, Nawaz lost the right to hold highest public office of the country and he should immediately resign, APML Secretary General Dr Muhammad Amjad said in a statement here on Tuesday.

He appreciated and lauded efforts of JIT that was formed under the directions of apex court of Pakistan. Dr Amjad said that the JIT worked under immense pressure and prepared a report that is based on merit and facts.

INP adds: Awami Muslim League (AML) President Sheikh Rasheed announced he would request the Supreme Court to summon Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for cross-examination in the Panama Papers probe.

Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, Rasheed renewed calls for the premier’s resignation in the aftermath of JIT report and stressed that the premier had lost all grounds to rule. “For the sake of this country, I ask Nawaz Sharif to step down,” he said. He has lost all moral political and legal authority to rule, he said.

Rasheed called on the prime minister to surrender to the law or risk facing imprisonment. “If Nawaz Sharif does not bow down to the law, he should get ready to go to prison. His entire family has been dragged through the mud due to his stubbornness to stick to power,” he said.

He said Nawaz has even destroyed his daughter’s political future. Nawaz’s agenda is to wage war against the judiciary and military, he said. He said Nawaz and his family are trying hard to find an unconstitutional way out of this saga he continued.

Rasheed also brought up mention of Sheikh Saeed calling him the front man of Sharif family in Switzerland as he discussed alleged tampering of official records by the SECP chairman. Calling the Panama case historic, the AML leader said the judges and Grade 18 and 19 officers proved that justice still prevails.

In the future, no politician would dare to loot the country because they would know that even Grade 18 and 19 officers can send them to prison, he said. “I had talked about victory of law and political funeral of the Sharif family. Now I stand vindicated,” he added.

Rasheed claimed that PML-N has only 40 to 41 assembly members left. He further said there are 62 PML-N members who were friends of Musharraf including eight ministers and invited them to his party.

The JIT in its final probe report into the Sharif family’s assets held that the prime minister and his three children – Maryam Hussain and Hasan – have accumulated wealth beyond their own known sources of income.

Meanwhile, PTI Member Sindh Assembly Khurram Sher Zaman has submitted resolution in Sindh Assembly demanding resignation from Nawaz Sharif after JIT report.

On the other hand, lawyers organisations have also demanded resignation of Nawaz and given him one week to step down. In a press conference, Lahore High Court Bar secretary and other members said Nawaz has lost all authorities to remain the premier of this country and announced to stage nationwide protests if he does not resign in seven days. The lawyers have also decided to carry the initial rally against Nawaz at The Mall on Thursday.

 

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