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PPP rallies across Sindh against PML-N over Musharraf departure

PPP rallies across Sindh against PML-N over Musharraf departure

HYDERABAD: Adviser to the Chief Minister on Information Maula Bux Chandio has vehemently condemned the federal government for giving safe passage to former president Pervez Musharraf to escape justice.

He was speaking at a rally taken out here on Saturday as part of a nationwide protest organised by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) against the federal government’s decision to allow the former president to go abroad. Such rallies were held in all cities and towns of Sindh.

“If the ongoing accountability process is aimed at taking revenge, the PPP will not accept it,” Mr Chandio declared amid slogans of ‘Go Nawaz Go’ repeatedly raised by charged party activists during his speech.

The rally was held by the Hyderabad district chapter of the party in response to a call given by PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. Party activists belonging to all its wings took part in the protest.

Questioning the justification of the decision taken by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on any grounds, Mr Chandio said the PPP would endorse everything that was in accordance with the Constitution and law. “The supremacy of the law must be accepted,” he stressed, and said that the PPP could not subscribe to the kind of justice once dispensed by Saifur Rehman.

“Why should the PPP alone be targeted [in the name of accountability]?” he argued. “It has become clear now [from the references being prepared by the National Accountability Bureau and investigating agencies] that only the PPP is being targeted and its innocent leaders are being arrested under a conspiracy aimed at eliminating it,” he said.

Despite this, he added, the PPP was enduring the conspiracy and respecting all institutions without raising a hue and cry. “We will also accept any decision that would be in accordance with the Constitution and law, he said.

In a light vein, he said [model] Ayyan Ali was not being allowed to go abroad although her’s was a matter of a handful of money and a person facing charges of violating the country’s Constitution was allowed to go scot-free. “This is height of tyranny,” he remarked.

Mr Chandio told the rally that it was an attempt by the Nawaz-led government to shift all responsibility [of Gen Musharraf’s departure evading the trial] to the judiciary and save its own skin. He observed that the attempt was was an insult to the country’s institutions.

He recalled that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, in his press conference a to make the government’s decision public few days ago, blamed the Supreme Court for ordering removal of Gen Musharraf’s name from the Exit Control List but, in fact, it was the federal government that dragged its feet.

“The move is bound to harm democracy,” he said, and alleged that the decision was taken on the will of a particular subject. He observed that this act of the PML-N showed that it was not a pro-democracy party. He reaffirmed the PPP resolve to promote democracy and oppose tooth and nail all undemocratic steps.

The senior PPP leader also hinted that his party might stop supporting the PML-N for the sake of democracy. “We have already started raising the slogan of ‘Go Nawaz Go’ and launched a nationwide campaign against it [PML-N], he said.

The PML-N would no more be allowed to enjoy a smooth sailing, Mr Chandio said, and claimed that the party was losing support inside and outside the elected houses.

“They [PML-N] has already been rendered powerless and now it will also start feeling uncomfortable in the days to come,” he said.

“We will start taking wickets, taking catches and stage a clean sweep,” he remarked.

Hyderabad district PPP president Zahid Bhurgari, Amanullah Siyal, Sagheer Ahmed Qureshi, Kashif Shoro and Barkat Bubbar were among the prominent party leaders who attended the rally.

Several thousand PPP activists and supporters took part in many rallies organised at district and city level in Sukkur, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Khairpur, Ghotki and other parts of upper Sindh on Saturday.

The protesters marched through roads raising slogans against the PML-N and demanding action against those involved in helping Gen Musharraf in getting a safe passage.

They also called for the removal of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for reneging on his promise to hold the military dictator accountable for violating the Constitution.

The PPP district activists leading the rallies called for bringing the former president back through Interpol and make him face the treason as well as Benazir assassination trials.

PPP youth wing leader MNA Kamal Khan Chang led a similar rally taken out in Badin on Saturday. The participants marched from the party’s office and after passing through

Quaid-i-Azam Road, they held a demonstration outside the local press club.

Speaking to them, Mr Chang said the PPP had launched a massive campaign against the PML-N government for helping Gen Musharraf evade justice. He said the ruling party would have to face the consequences for its un­­constitutional and unlawful act.

Local PPP activists took out a rally in Dadu on Saturday to condemn the federal government’s decision to allow Gen Musharraf to go abroad. The rally demanded that the former president be brought back and put on trial for his all unconstitutional acts.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2016

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