No mishandling

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AS was apprehended, tension did flare up in the Federal Capital on Thursday when, under instructions of the Interior Ministry, Islamabad Police stormed Parliament Lodges (housing elected representatives) to forcibly evacuate personnel of ‘Ansarul Islam’, which JUI(F) leaders claimed were there to offer security to the vulnerable opposition members of the National Assembly ahead of voting on the no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister.

Apart from members of the ‘Ansarul Islam’ force, police also arrested one MNA and one Senator belonging to JUI(F) prompting the party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to give a call to the workers of the opposition political parties to reach Islamabad and block all main roads in different parts of the country.

The situation was ripe for a large-scale confrontation between the two sides but sanity prevailed and the Government decided to release those arrested from the Parliament Lodges.

All those who care about the interests of the country have all along been pointing out that the process of no-confidence motion was purely a democratic and constitutional move and should be treated as such both by the opposition and the government.

However, attempts are being made to raise the ante deliberately, which harm all and benefit none except enemies of the country.

It is all the more regrettable that the Government is relying more on pressure tactics than to handle the situation through wiser means.

Though personnel of ‘Ansarul Islam’ force should not have been brought to the Parliament Lodges but this decision of JUI(F) was founded in fear about physical security of the opposition members both because of some actions and decisions of the government as well as precedents of the past on such occasions when members were kidnapped to ensure their non-availability for voting.

The Government has already decided to prevent its disgruntled members from entering into the venue of the voting, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad made a call to PTI workers to gather in front of the Parliament House on the D-Day and PTI has announced to hold a ‘big’ public meeting at the famous D-Chowk to demonstrate its muscles.

As these are politically motivated decisions and therefore, the opposition too was expected to take measures to safeguard its interests and this could raise the possibility of physical confrontation once again.

Ironically, we claim to be democrats but go to any extent to protect vested interests and defeat the other side.

No doubt, stakes are high but both the government and the opposition should demonstrate sportsman spirit during the process of no-confidence motion.

 

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