Saad terms October 12 ‘black day’ for democracy’
Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique has said that October 12, 1999, the day former army chief General Pervez Musharraf (Retd) had toppled the elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, was a black day for democracy in Pakistan. Addressing a press conference at the Lahore Press Club here on Sunday, Rafique said that General Musharraf by staging a coup d’etat 15 years ago had imposed dictatorship and the politics of Dharnas (sit-ins) and conspiracies were continuation of Musharraf’s rule.
“On the black day of October 12, 1999, a tragedy happened to the democracy in Pakistan and the elected government of the people, when a dictator removed the democratic government through an unconstitutional and illegal action in connivance with foreign powers” he said, adding that Nawaz Sharif was punished for making Pakistan’s defence impregnable.
Rafique said that Pakistan Muslim League restored democracy in the country after a long democratic struggle.
He said that a change in government could be brought about only through the power of vote and democratic means and not through sit-ins and street protests, he remarked, saying the people, who are staging sit ins, are the same people who had supported Musharraf’s referendum.
The minister claimed that had the PML-N’s elected government not been toppled, the government would not have been facing problems such as terrorism, inflation, unemployment, and load-shedding, etc.
Referring to the Multan’s tragedy, he said that the lighting and stage arrangements were the responsibility of the PTI and not that of the administration.