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Friday Dec 08 2017

Dissolution of assemblies an option if it benefits ruling party politically: Asif


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has said that the ruling party always has an option to dissolve the legislative assemblies if they are faced with a situation which calls for it.

“Ruling parties always have this option. If it comes to that, and if we face a situation which calls for it, then we might go for it. But there has been no discussion on this as yet and no decision either” he said in an interview to a private channel Thursday night.

It will be a political move, the foreign minister added.

He also said Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are not in a position either to dissolve their assemblies.

Asif’s comments are in response to the increasing calls for resignations from political opponents, the latest being demands for Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif to step down.

An unprecedented alliance of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chief Tahirul Qadri on Thursday demanded Shehbaz’s resignation in the wake of the Model Town inquiry report.

“Enough is enough! Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shehbaz must resign. After this report, he stands condemned, and a condemned man cannot remain the chief minister of the largest province of Pakistan,” Zardari told reporters at a press conference alongside Qadri in Lahore.

The foreign minister criticised the alliance, saying “people of the same flock” are coming together and trying to achieve what should only be done through a vote.

He also slammed Zardari, saying the PPP co-chairman has destroyed PPP and is celebrating the demise of the party envisioned by its founders, in a reference to Zardari’s dance moves at a rally.

Model Town report

The Punjab government, at the behest of the Lahore High Court, made the report for the Model Town incident public on December 5. The report was drafted by Justice Baqir Najfi and termed the 2014 tragedy in Lahore's Model Town as the "most unfortunate incident" in the country's history.

Justice Baqir Najafi commission inquiry report said that police tried to cover up the facts regarding who gave orders to open fire on protesters, according to the commission report released Tuesday.

The report added that no legal opinion was sought from the Punjab advocate general prior to the start of the operation.

The commission also stated that on the ground, the standoff continued the whole night, resulting in minor injuries to police constables as well as PAT workers.


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