Opposition advises rational approach to tackle crisis

ISLAMABADLawmakers in the lower house of parliament on Thursday debated the crisis that emerged in the wake of acquittal of Asia Bibi, a blasphemy accused, with some opposition lawmakers criticising Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Wednesday speech and calling for a peaceful settlement of the issue.The Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Khursheed Shah, who was the first to request the speaker to hold a discussion on the ongoing protests that have paralysed life in many parts of the country, called for adopting a rational approach to resolve conflicts “as aggressiveness offers no solution to the issue”.

Aasia Bibi acquitted by Supreme Court

“The parliament is representative of 220 million people and the nation should stand united to steer country out of current crisis,” he said, adding that the entire Muslim Ummah stands united for the Namoos (respect) of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).He pointed out the absence of key treasury members from the proceedings of the house and said that government should act sensibly for prestige of institutions.  “The situation is not normal and there is unrest in society. Sane and sincere persons want to resolve the issues in a peaceful way,” he said.The PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also urged all political parties to demonstrate responsibility in the current situation, adding that the country could not afford any more tragedies.He said it was time to develop consensus and address the challenges being faced by the country including the most imminent law and order situation.Bilawal hoped that the government would seriously fulfill its responsibilities, adding that it must brief the house about steps taken for the protection of Asia Bibi and the judges of the Supreme Court.“My grandfather, my uncles, my mother, my governor Punjab, my federal minister for minorities were assassinated. I appeal to all political parties to show some responsibility as we cannot afford any more tragedies,” he said.Bilawal said he did not agree with some opposition party members’ criticism of the PM’s speech.“I expected him (Imran Khan) to deliver a speech today along the lines of what he said yesterday, and for me to be able say: Qadam barhao, Imran Khan, hum tumharay saath hain (Step ahead, Imran Khan, we are with you). We are with democracy, we are with justice, and we are with rule of law.”The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker Khawaja Saad Rafique said no sensible person could tolerate derogatory language against any of the state institutions, claiming that nobody agrees to the narrative of those agitating today.However, he cautioned that it was a very sensitive issue and the government needed to handle the current situation carefully. “The use of force against the agitators should be avoided and the matter should be resolved through dialogue,” he added.Responding to the opposition members, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi informed the house that negotiations with the protesters are under way and the nation will soon hear good news.“The government is deliberating with the chief ministers, governors, chief secretaries, inspectors general to find out a peaceful solution of the current situation. However, writ of the state will be established.”The minister said it was a good omen that all the political parties and stakeholders are united on the issue. He said it is responsibility of the state to provide protection to lives and the property of the citizen. He urged the protestors not to use religion to achieve their ‘nefarious designs’.

Judges who issued Aasia verdict are as devoted to Holy Prophet (PBUH) as any Muslim: CJP

“It is responsibility of the state to provide security to Asia Bibi. Prime Minister Imran Khan has instructed me to hold talks with the opposition on the issue.  We will meet the senior leadership of the opposition to develop consensuses to find out the solution of the present situation,” he added.Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan welcomed the speech of Khawaja Saad Rafque and said the whole nation is looking towards the parliament to find amicable solution of this matter.        He said entire nation is perturbed over the current situation.Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood said the government believes in supremacy of law and it would accomplish its prime responsibility to maintain law and order situation in the country.“The PM has warned such groups that have mounted protests to challenge the authority of the government,” he added.  Defending the PM’s speech, he said Imran Khan addressed 220 million people of this country and adopted a bold stance.

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