Govt invites opposition for dialogue

ISLAMABAD, (SANA): Railways Minister Khawaja Muhammad Saad Rafiq has again invited the opposition for dialogue to resolve the issues.

Taking part in the debate in the National Assembly on Article 245 on Tuesday, he said it is surprising that PTI was supporter of holding dialogue with Taliban but was not ready to talk with the government.
The Minister said the country is in the state of war and the armed forces are busy in eliminating terrorists from the country. He said democratic forces are agreed that the country cannot progress in the presence of terrorism.

He urged the PTI to delay their march till the conclusion of the military operation in North Waziristan. He assured that the armed forces and the marchers will not come face to face. However, he said, if there is any untoward incident, the armed forces will take action.

He said PTI should guarantee that there will be terrorist incidents during their march.

The Minister said that rejected people cannot derail the democratic system.

Earlier initiating debate on the implementation of Article-245 Opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah said they have no objection for imposing this Article but the government should convene a joint session of the Parliament to take all members of the House into confidence.

He was of the view that revoking of Article-245 is the beginning to eliminate democratic forces.

He demanded immediate withdrawal of Article-245 and suggested the government to resolve the issue politically.

Taking part in the debate, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed urged the government to show flexibility to defuse the situation as confrontation will be harmful.

Dr. Arif Alvi demanded immediate withdrawal of article 245. He assured that Azadi march will be peaceful.

Rashid Godil said the government should explain reasons why it wants to revoke Article-245.

He said if the imposition of article 245 is necessary in view of the operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan then the article should be enforced from the day on which the operation started.

Mahmood Khan Achakzai said there is a talk that some hidden hands are behind the PTI and PAT protests and marches. He proposed that the Prime Minister should convene a meeting of the party heads including Imran Khan to resolve the issues.

Sahibzada Tariqullah proposed to form a House committee to resolve the issue through dialogue.

Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said there is no such situation in the federal capital which justifies the imposition of article 245.
Ijaz ul Haq said the nation should demonstrate solidarity on this occasion when a full-fledged operation is going on in North Waziristan against terrorists.

Amir Haider Hoti narrated the situation prevailing in Swat in 2009 in which the army was called under article 245. He said every party has the right to protest in a democratic way. He said if the agenda of the PTI’s protest is electoral reforms, it is good but if their agenda is something else then it is very dangerous. He stressed the need for demonstrating political maturity to come out of the present deadlock.
In his speech, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said the government has taken a decisive step against terrorism. It gave time to dialogue and after failure of dialogue a military operation has been launched to eliminate terrorism forever. He said in these circumstances there is a need of demonstrating unity.

The Minister said political parties have demonstrated the political maturity during the last six years and institutions like judiciary and media gained strength.

He categorically stated that revoking of article 245 in the federal capital has no link with PTI’s long march on14th August. He said the government has no ill intention in this regard. He said imposition of article 245 will provide legal protection to the armed forces against any litigation in the wake of operation against terrorists. He said army was also called during PPP government for many times.

Suspending the agenda of the day, the House began discussion on the situation arising out of the issuance of the order by the federal government under Article 245 calling army in aid of civil administration in the federal capital for ninety days.

The motion to this effect was moved by Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid.

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May 2021