Asif Ali Zardari forms committee to defuse tension

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party’s co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari, who is abroad for some weeks, has formed a committee of leaders of his party for consultation with other political parties to defuse tense political situation in the country.

A notification issued by Political Secretary Rukhsana Bangash today said that the special committee comprises of Senator Rehman Malik, Madam Faryal Talpur MNA, Senator Moula Bakhsh Chandio and Nisar Khuro MPA from Sindh, former MNAs Imtiaz Safdar Waracih, Javed Waraich and Afzal Nadeem Chan from Punjab, former MNA Khanzada Khan President PPP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Faisal Karim Kundi former Deputy Speaker National Assembly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Senators Sabir Baloch and Fateh Muhammad Hasni from Balochistan.

Senator Rehman Malik has been designated as Convener of the Special Committee, the notification says.

The Committee has been tasked to immediately undertake consultation with other political parties to work out an agreed plan of action to defuse the escalating political tension on the one hand and to ensure that the democratic system is not derailed at any cost.

Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo

PPP Punjab President Mian Manzoor Wattoo has asked the government and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to seek mediation of former President Asif Ali Zardari to defuse the prevailing political crisis in the country.

“Zardari Sahib is seemed to be the strongest mediator in the present scenario and he is capable of resolving the confrontation between the government and PTI,” he said at a press conference at the PPP Secretariat.

The PPP leader said that in the current situation, the PPP was in a position to mediate and the government and the PTI would accept the mediation and decision of the PPP.

The PPP leader urged the PML-N government not to block the way of PTI and PAT’s long marches and feared that otherwise the government could be toppled.

“If democracy is derailed the responsibility will be on rulers,” he said.

“Staging demonstrations is the constitutional right of the PTI and PAT, but no-one will support them if their workers damage public property and take law into their hands. If they become unruly, the government will have the right to stop them by force,” he said.

The PPP Punjab President said that his party would not join PTI or PAT long marches.

He said that the situation had turned worse because of the mishandling by the Punjab government.

“The government has the last chance to mend its ways and allow PTI and PAT workers to proceed to Islamabad, otherwise Aug 14 could be the last day of the present government,” he said.

Published in Dawn, Aug 13th, 2014

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