Journalists, civil society slam PTI, PAT sit-ins
ISLAMABAD: The representatives of journalists and civil society organisations said that it was a matter of grave concern that some politicians with their a few thousand workers had paralysed capital for their personal political benefits.
Addressing the ‘Pro-Democracy’ camp set up in front of the National Press Club (NPC) by Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), its President Afzal Butt said that the agitation had no room in the politics and those who wanted to adopt the path of agitation to pursue their political agendas were not doing any good to the country.
“The people from Khyber to Karachi have made it clear that they want democracy to flourish in Pakistan so they would not support any undemocratic step that would damage the national interest of the country,” he said.
NPC President Shehrayar Khan said that the politicians had the right to exercise their democratic rights but use of inappropriate language in the sit-ins would set negative trends in the politics.
“We have already witnessed the adverse effects of negative politics in Pakistan and if someone again wants to bring back the era of agitation, he would not be doing any service for this country,” he said.
Former NPC President Farooq Faisal Khan said that new Pakistan had come into being because Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) that refused to have talks with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) before execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was now holding talks with the PPP leader to protect democracy.”
He said that the people expected a lot from the politicians who were supposed to lead the country towards the path of progress and prosperity but if they got indulged in ‘container’ politics and gave weight to their ego, they would cause frustration among the voters.
Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) President Ali Raza Alvi said that politics in Pakistan was fast moving towards confrontation and it seemed that the ‘dharna’ politicians who were not showing any kind of flexibility in their respective stance now looked towards ‘third umpire’ that could wrap up the whole political system.
RIUJ Secretary General Bilal Dar said, “Doing politics is right of every political party but no one can support the way adopted by PTI and PAT that have paralysed the capital city and are thinking that gathering of a few thousand people can decide the fate of the whole country.”
Member of Parliamentarian Commission for Human
Rights Chaudhry Shafiq lauded the efforts of PFUJ and also urged the press clubs across Pakistan to set up pro-democracy camps.
Human rights activist Farzana Bari said it was highly unfortunate that the ‘dharna’ politics had badly impacted the culture of tolerance that somewhat prevailed in the politics in which the people witnessed that a politically elected government completed its constitutional term and was replaced by another government after 2013 elections.
Sajid Mansoor of Sangi Development Foundation said, “The people of Pakistan are united against those forces which want to derail the democratic process and push the country backward and towards an era of darkness.”
Farkhanda Aurangzeb of Aurat Foundation said, “It is highly appreciable that almost all the political parties are opposing the undemocratic attitude of ‘dharna’ groups and stand with the democratic process.”
Social activist Alia Mirza urged PTI, PAT and the federal government to find out a negotiated and peaceful solution to this political crisis that was making Pakistan a laughing stock in the comity of the nations.