ISLAMABAD: In an impassioned speech in the National Assembly, Leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah said his party would not bow down in front of undemocratic forces even if the government caves in. He was reacting to a move to invite the army to act as mediator to defuse the political deadlock over the twin sit-ins in the federal capital.
“An effort was made to put a black mark on the government,” he said. “Let them come in. Burn the parliament, burn the Supreme Court, burn the secretariat, but we will never allow them to burn even a single leaf of this Constitution”, said the charged PPP leader.
He said that democratic forces should not bow before a dictator and if any government is sent home, it never dies but remains alive. “Don’t be scared of a handful of people from the two union councils who threaten the parliament of 180 million people,” said Shah. “We have lost great leaders for the sake of democracy and we are ready to do so [again].”
Shah asked the military’s media wing, the ISPR, to issue a statement to dispel the impression and to expose the faces of those who misguided people. He said the government should act as per the resolution passed by the house. “We will stand by you like a wall of steel. We have played our role and will also play it in the future for democracy.”
Also addressing the house, Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai said the government should have clarified its position Thursday night if it had not approached the army for mediation. He asked the speaker not to prorogue the house until the issue is settled.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2014.