Mushahid warns of 'Pindi's role' if parties fail to take intiative, respect each other's mandate

Mumtaz Alvi
February 21, 2024

"Establishment cannot act on its own unless it has its allies, partners [in political parties]," stresses PML-N leader

PML-N Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed speaking during a senate session on February 20, 2024. — X/Mushahid


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed has warned of "Pindi's role" and the General Headquarters (GHQ) if politicians fail to reach a consensus and do not respect each other's mandate, The News reported on Wednesday.

"If the political parties will not take the initiative, then this initiative will go to the GHQ and then they will decide with a cane in hand. Do we want this humiliation again like in the past [...] The establishment cannot act on its own unless it has its allies, partners [in political parties]," the PML-N leader said while speaking during a Senate session on Tuesday.

Calling on the PML-N supremo to take the initiative and let the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) come forward and extend an olive branch to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Mushahid said: "And, if we don’t do that, then all roads will lead to Rawalpindi. Learn from the past mistakes, don't repeat them."

His remarks come after the PML-N and the PPP forged an agreement to form a coalition government in the "country's best interest" in the Centre as no party secured a simple majority in the February 8 general election.

"The Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz now have complete numbers and we are in the position to form the next government," PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari told a press conference in Islamabad alongside top leaders from both the parties late Tuesday.

Bilawal further revealed that PML-N's Shehbaz Sharif would be the next prime minister while PPP's Asif Ali Zardari would be the joint candidate for both parties for the president's slot.

The recent general elections have witnessed the PTI-backed independent candidates — who have allied with the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) to ensure it gets the required numbers through reserved seats in the assemblies — emerging as the largest group with 92 National Assembly (NA) seats followed by the PML-N (79) and the PPP (54).

Speaking on the motion over the situation arising from controversial results of the recent elections, Senator Mushahid said that the situation had changed after the February 8 polls and there was a need for a healing touch. He demanded that all the political prisoners, including Imran Khan and missing persons, be they in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) or elsewhere, should be freed.

Referring to PTI’s sit-in in 2014, the PML-N senator alleged that it was also staged at the behest of the security establishment against a democratically-elected government without justification. This followed a soft coup against the PML-N government on July 28, 2017, which led to the elected premier being handcuffed.

He alleged the establishment staged a soft coup by using the judiciary against Nawaz Sharif in 2017 which followed another against the Khan-led coalition government in 2022. He called for a general amnesty for the political prisoners and wondered if there could be talks with theTehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists in Kabul, who had killed our people, then why dialogue could not be held with the political parties.

The PML-N leader believed that the biggest responsibility lies with Nawaz Sharif to take the initiative and said there should not be a talk of a third or fourth term. He should demonstrate leadership, let the PPP come forward and form a government with the PTI, and Nawaz may become the head of the state. Once upon a time, there had been a great friendship between the two (Nawaz and Imran) which can be rekindled again.


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