PTI is not part of any 'grand plan' – Qureshi tells NA
ISLAMABAD, Sept 3 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi clarified that purpose of sit-in outside the Parliament is to save the House.
“We are not here to burn the House but to save it,” he told the parliament.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi thanked leader of the opposition and other members for their views.
He said it is an historic moment and all the parliamentarians must play a serious role.
“I know there are few elements who want to put fuel on fire and there is a group as well that wants to resolve all the issues,” he added.
He said the parliament is very dear to him and he considers this building as his political holy site.
“I told PAT protestors that parliament is my political (ka’aba),” he said adding that, “It is our duty to protect the parliament but the question is, what kind of parliament.”
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he is proud of PTI chief Imran Khan but Benazir Bhutto is behind his political training.
He said there is a perception that there is grand plan or a great script behind the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf protest but PTI never was and never will be part of any great plan that will undermine the democracy and constitution of Pakistan.
He said PTI did not invite any third party. Time is witness that who urged the third party to mediate in political crisis. The request to an institution (army) to resolve political crisis was against the spirit of the Charter of Democracy, he added.
“History will tell who invited third party mediate or facilitate,” he said, referring to government’s request to the COAS Gen Raheel Sharif to play his role in resolving the crisis.
Qureshi said that people say that PTI was staging sit-in was getting ‘signal’ from certain quarter, adding they did got a ‘signal’ but from the people of Pakistan.
Qureshi said that PTI set itself four core principles before the start of this long march. These principles are this struggle will be to save democracy, to protect constitution, will remain peaceful and any unconstitutional intervention would be opposed.
PTI leader said that people propagated that the parliament would be assaulted, adding that the parliament is dear to him as well and that they were not against the parliament.
Qureshi criticized government’s handling of the crisis, adding that Islamabad was turned into Gaza as scores of people were killed and injured.
He urged the parliamentarians to understand the frustration and haplessness of the protestors following the Lahore massacre in which over a dozen PAT workers were brutally martyred by Punjab police.
He also questioned on whose orders media persons were assaulted.
He said that this crisis is political in nature, urging all parliamentarians to keep their egos aside to build a democratic Pakistan as envisaged by father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam.
“This can only happen if there is a mechanism in place to ensure free and fair elections.”
Qureshi said that his party is ready to negotiate with the committee of opposition members.
“We are ready to break the stalemate with open hearts,” he asserted.
Qureshi said PTI has only demanded transparent invesitgation of rigging in last year s general election.
"PTI is not protesting just now, its a tale of 14 months when protesters in Lahore & Karachi came on roads since the evening of May 11" he said.
He said it is not about the sit-in protest now but this whole crisis is the cry since May 2013 when people came to the streets in protest against election rigging.
On joining hands with Pakistan Awami Tehreek, Qureshi said Tahirul Qadri assured PTI of a peaceful struggle.
Refering to Model Town tragedy, Qureshi said "understand the frustration, the helplessness, the rage of those who had buried the murdered and were being denied FIR." .
He said PTI leaders argued on one demand and that was the resignation of the prime minister. PTI wants a system of election which is free & fair in Pakistan.
PML-N members frequently raised slogans and hooted at Qureshi during his speech. At one point, Ishaq Dar also stood up and began shouting to clarify his position on a point raised by Qureshi. Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and
Opposition leader Khursheed Shah asked members to stay calm.
But after the speech Qureshi along with other PTI MNAs left the house without announcing their resignations on the floor of the assembly.