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Qadri should clarify if he would contest election: Kaira

Faisalabad:Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Wednesday that Tehrik Minhaj ul Quran chief Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri should first clarify his position whether he would contest election or not.

Talking to media at the residence of Information Secretary Rashid Ahmed, after offering Fateha for his mother, he said Dr Qadri had expressed his intention of not contesting the election so he was not a stakeholder in the democratic system.He said holding of public processions and debates was the constitutional right, however, no one would be allowed to breach law.He said the government and the assemblies would complete their remaining around two and a half months constitutional term.He said tenure of the government would be completed on March 16, that would follow the formation of the caretaker government as per the Constitution.

Kaira said the election process would be completed within 60 days of the caretaker government and assured that the elections would be held before May 16.Elaborating the criteria of forming the caretaker set up, he said the Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition would nominate the candidate for the prime ministerial slot and if they fail to evolve consensus, then the Election Commission would decide the same.

Kaira said the government and opposition were the representatives of the people and only they had the right to decide about the caretaker set up. However, he thought that the caretaker prime minister should be a politician.Answering a question, he said there is no room for unconstitutional steps as a lot of improvements had been made in the Constitution.”People would never support any unconstitutional demand of any individual as it would be treacherous,” he said.

Kaira said in the presence of independent judiciary, media, political parties and civil society, no one can even think about taking unconstitutional steps.The minister said that in democracy nothing could be imposed by using force. He said staging sit-ins and notions of Tahrir Square-like uprisings suited only to those countries where the people did not have any say, but in Pakistan the government and the judiciary were there to listen to their issues.He said the government had always been promoting political reconciliation and successfully restored the Constitution in its original form despite lacking majority in the Parliament.

To a question Kaira said army had already clarified its position regarding the long march of Dr Qadri.He said army has played vital role for strengthening of democracy and “we should appreciate the sacrifices made by the Pakistan Army.” Kaira said Pakistan People Party had always kept national interests of the country supreme.
He recalled that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had been asked to withdraw atomic programme or else he would be made an example for the world, but he preferred death to any compromise on national interests.He said Shaheed Benazir Bhutto was also threatened of dire consequences for pursuing the national interests, but she also set aside any alien agenda.To a question he said PPP was the name of a movement that was never affected, if anyone deserted it.

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