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Musharraf's supporters now taking part in sit-ins: Saad

13 October, 2014

LAHORE: Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said on Sunday that the people who had supported Pervez Musharraf's referendum against democracy after October 12, 1999 have now gathered at the sit-ins against the government.

Speaking at a news conference at the Press Club here, he said democracy was an only path which led to prosperity, stability and development in the country, adding that some international forces wanted to punish Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at that time for his efforts to make Pakistan a nuclear power and getting free it from clutches of foreign debts.

Commenting on the Qasim Bagh incident, he said every Pakistani was sad on the tragedy and the government had fulfilled its responsibilities by helping the injured. He raised questions about the incident and asked Imran Khan why he did not rush to hospitals for enquiring after the injured and remained having dinner before leaving the city. He asked why the PTI procession administration did not arrange water for participants in very hot weather besides music.

The minister questioned why the PTI could not overcome incidents of misbehaviour with women at its gatherings. He questioned who was controlling public address system in the Qasim Bagh and why an appeal by police was ignored by Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Imran Khan did not stop his speech.

He said no body could hide his negligence by telling lies. He said the PTI local president put an application for gathering to the administration but control of the gathering was handed over to followers of Shah Mehmood. Khawaja questioned who rejected the suggestion of the city administration for location of sports ground and selected Qasim Bagh?, who presented map of the procession and who was responsible for lights according to an agreement between local and PTI administrations. He said the PTI was notorious for its mismanagement and Imran himself was victim of it. He said politics of hatred and blames should be finished and urged Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi to change their attitude by participating in decent politics.

Saad Rafique said that the country's strength is linked with the continuity of democratic system and whenever dictatorship came in power, it threw country back several decades in every respect. He said that today is the day on which fifteen years back, a dictator toppled a democratically elected government and damaged country severely.

He said that a democratically elected government can only be replaced by the procedure given in the constitution, rather than with the use of force. He said that a change of government can also not happen with use of threats, protests, sit ins and batons. He said that the on-going sit-ins have caused huge damage to country's economy and reputation.

Railway Minister expressed deep sorrow and grief over the loss of human lives in the Multan stampede tragedy, however, he condemned the behaviour of top PTI leadership including Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi regarding it. He said that PTI leadership should refrain from levelling baseless allegations against the government functionaries.

He asked the PTI leadership to conduct an in-party inquiry about this incident. He asked why the party leaders continued their speeches when the people of dying of suffocation. He asked why the PTI organizers did not convey the situation and made announcement for calming the people during Imran Khan's address. He asked why appeal from district administration for such an announcement from stage was not entertained immediately.


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