Negotiations underway with protesters to resolve issue peacefully: NA told

Negotiations underway with protesters to resolve issue peacefully: NA told
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The National Assembly held discussion on the current law and order situation in the country.

Taking the floor, PPP leader Khurshid Shah said protecting and strengthening the state and its institutions is our joint responsibility. He said we should save the country from anarchy and chaos. He said we stand by the state institutions.

However, Khurshid Shah strongly criticized Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to the nation saying his aggressive posture will not help improve situation in the country.

Responding to the points of the PPP leader, Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood said it is the first time in the country’s history that a strong and clear stand was taken by a Prime Minister that nobody will be allowed to challenge the writ of the state.

He said it is the responsibility of the government to implement the judgement of the Supreme Court in Aasiya Bibi case. He said the opposition parties should not indulge in political point scoring on the matter rather they should sit with the government on matters of national interests.

The Federal Minister said the government is committed to maintain law and order in the country. He said we are also holding dialogue with those who are ready to accept the rule of law. Saad Rafique of PML-N said nobody agrees to the narrative of those agitating today. He said the language used against the institutions by them, is not acceptable. He said this is a very sensitive issue and the government needs to handle the current situation carefully. He said that use of force against the agitators should be avoided and the matter be resolved through dialogue. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad said the entire nation is perturbed over the current situation and it is looking towards the parliament to find a way out of it. He said we are all true followers and devotees of holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and can sacrifice our lives for the sanctity of the last prophet. Others including Khalid Hussain Magsi, Abdul Akbar Chitrali, Sabir Hussain Kaim Khani, Riaz Fatyana, Rana Sanaullah also voiced concerns over the current situation. They said that they stand behind the state institutions and support the decisions taken in accordance with the law and constitution.

Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi said that negotiations are underway with the protesters to resolve the matter amicably. He was confident that the nation will soon hear good news in this regard. He said we do not want use of force against the protestors.

He however said that no compromise will be made on the writ of state and dictation of any sort will not be accepted.

The Minister of state categorically stated that nobody will be allowed to establish state within the state under the garb of religion in Naya Pakistan. He said it is the responsibility of the state to protect the followers of every religion and sect. He also assured that full protection will be provided to Asiya Bibi and the honorable judges. He also appreciated the statement of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in support of supremacy of law. He said the government will also sit with the opposition parties to take them into confidence on the current situation.

Taking floor, Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari urged all political parties to demonstrate responsibility in the current situation as the country cannot afford more tragedies.

He said it is time to develop consensus to address the challenges faced by the country including the current law and order situation. He said we stand for democracy, rule of law and justice. He expressed the confidence that the sitting government will seriously fulfill its responsibilities.

Abdul Shakoor of JUI-F said the sanctity of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is very dear to all Muslims. He said love for the last Prophet is part of our faith. He said the current situation should be tackled amicably.

Minister for Housing and Works Tariq Bashir Cheema said the government should not be blamed for the current situation. He said we have taken the requisite steps to maintain the law and order situation. He ruled out any amendment to the blasphemy law saying nobody can dare this.

Javed Latif of PML-N said force should not be used against the protesters and the current situation should be addressed through negotiations. He said deterioration of situation will not be in the country’s interest.

The PPP Chairman asked the government to brief the House about the steps taken for the protection of Asiya Bibi and the honorable judges.

Shahid Khaqan Abbassi, who won the by elections from Lahore, took oath of office today.

The speaker administered oath to him.

The House will now meet tomorrow morning at ten thirty.

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