ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Muhammad Ali Durrani Sunday shrugged away the impression that Pakistan Muslim League has derailed the government and PPP dialogue process, adding that the past governing pattern of confrontation and corruption will not be allowed to be practiced in the country against the interest of people and the state. In a press conference in a local hotel, he said, “Neither the PML nor Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has disrupted the dialogue process between the government and the PPP. Rather this is ‘unrealistic demands’ put forward by the PPP which have hurt the ongoing dialogue.
When asked what would be the strategy of the government if PML (N) leader Mian Nawaz Sharif returns back on September 10, the Minister said the government would deal with the situation as per laws of the land.”Whether it is Benazir Bhutto or Mian Nawaz Sharif, no one should consider himself above the law. Any situation would be dealt with as per the laws of land,” he said. Mian Nawaz Sharif is facing multiple pressures regarding his return, he added.
He maintained, “You know, he is in a fix now. On one hand, he has made an agreement with a friendly country which would now be piling up pressure on him for avoiding any breach of the understanding. On the other hand, he would have to face his followers in Pakistan.” Elaborating the reservations of the PML and its allied parties over the demands of the PPP for the talks, the Minister said that the demand of dissolving the local body governments is against the interest of the people as the local governments have empowered the people at the grassroots level.
Durrani said the dialogue process does not mean that the government would allow specific personal gains by a group or individual added that, this is against the spirit of dialogues to hurt the stability of the state institutions. He said that Article 58 (2-b) of the constitution provides a safety-valve against the possibility of military interventions. This amendment has also been made by the parliament with a two-thirds majority. This clause also provides a balance between the powers of the president and the prime minister which ensures that no one could adopt an autocratic attitude.
The idea to make any amendment in this Article is an effort to push the stable democratic process towards instability,” he said. These were the points which had derailed the government and PPP dialogue adding that any demand which could hurt the democratic process would be improper. When asked whether the dialogue process with the PPP had been stalled on the issue of uniform of President Pervez Musharraf, Minister Durrani said that a dialogue is always a ‘package deal’ and there is no percentage of success rates.
He said, “The government is very much clear over the issue of the uniform of the president. The president would himself take any decision in this regard as per constitutional provisions. No dateline or deadline would be accepted by the government in the dialogue package,” he added. He said with the commencement of the month of September, the democratic process in the country has entered a significant phase and presidential and general elections would be held during the forthcoming four months period. This is the constitutional obligation of all the three pillars of the state to ensure smooth sailing of the electoral process. He said that the president has introduced a strategy to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue and the government aims at evolving consensus over all issues through talks with all the political parties present in the national assembly.
“We want to avoid confrontation as this attitude has badly hurt the democratic process in past. Such politicians who are toeing the same confrontational policy they adopted in past would be rejected by the masses. The government and the people of Pakistan would not allow any individual or party to create law and order situation in the country. The government would also abide by laws of the land,” he said. The Minister categorically warned those politicians who were creating an impression that they had the backing of powerful countries and they could do whatever they wanted in the country. “Now the people of Pakistan would take all their decisions as they have always defied the external pressures. Nobody would be allowed to complete any agenda on external instigation,” he said.
The Minister said that the dialogue process had been launched to eradicate all sorts of doubts in stability of the political process, adding, the dialogue process would continue whether the talks fail or make headway. He said the government aimed at avoiding the extremist aptitudes for economic and democratic stability and the progress and prosperity of the people of Pakistan. To a question on possibility of an election alliance with the PPP, the Minister clarified that there was no electoral alliance in consideration with the PPP. “The PPP and the PML have different identity, approach and vision. We have our own programme and development agenda. We have our own voters and would not go into any alliance with the PPP,” he said.-SANA