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May 27, 2019

Opposition leaders call for dialogue

Top Story

May 27, 2019

LAHORE: Opposition leaders Sunday condemned the North Waziristan incident, saying the state should go for dialogue instead of resorting to force.

Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said it was beyond understanding why an elected lawmaker would lead an attack on an army check-post.

Addressing a press conference in Larkana, he condemned the violence that led to the loss of lives.

“How can Mohsin Dawar attack a check-post? He is an elected representative! It would not make sense for an elected representative to initiate such an attack. While I condemn the attack, I must also add that peaceful protest is every citizen’s right,” he said, adding he would find out the facts. “I have been saying since day one that you may disagree with them [PTM], you can diagree with their point of view 100 per cent, you can argue with them,” but, he warned of tragedies taking place if young politicians from a place such as Fata were not engaged.

In a series of tweets on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) official handle, party president Shehbaz Sharif condemned the incident and said all facts should be presented before parliament.

He said political dialogue should be utilised if there’s disagreement as guns can’t resolve issues.

He said internal discord would benefit the enemies of Pakistan. He also prayed for the wounded and “martyrs”.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said lives of all Pakistani citizens and all facts should be presented before the nation if someone’s blood is spilt.

She urged all stakeholders –media, politicians and state institutions – to act responsibly for the sake of the country. She said the country could not afford an internal conflict at present.

Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) chief Akhtar Mengal said: “Violence should not be used to scare those who use peaceful ways to protest.”

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, in a statement released by his spokesperson, expressed sympathy with the deceased and injured in the attack.

"In the democratic world, people have the right to protest," he said, adding "stopping them from this is tantamount to giving birth to incitement and extremism".

PTM leader Dawar alleged that they were fired at after they passed a checkpoint.

"They fired straight at us," Dawar later told the Voice of America in an interview.

Our Peshawar Bureau adds: Awami National Party (ANP) Central President Asfandyar Wali Khan, through a statement issued here on Sunday, demanded release of the arrested persons. He also demanded provision of medical treatment to the injured.

The ANP president asked the government to avoid creating situation that could prove harmful for democracy and the country.

Asfandyar Wali Khan said that the state could not tolerate the voices being raised for rights, adding that it was taking imprudent steps that could disintegrate the country.

He said that the firing on the protesters who had been demanding their rights in the month of Ramazan was a brutal act on the part of the state.

He urged the youth to remain peaceful as some forces wanted them to become violent. He also criticised the media for its negative role in the coverage of the incident.

Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) head Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao called for taking steps to defuse the tension.

Through a press release issued here, he said that the Pakhtuns had already suffered a lot and steps should be taken to bring the situation under control.

Demanding a probe into the incident to establish the facts, he said that Pakhtun leadership should be taken into confidence over the incident and the grievances of the Pakhtuns be addressed.

“The Pakhtuns have faced displacement and violence in recent years. They cannot afford to go through a painful ordeal,” Aftab Sherpao said, underscoring the need for exercising restraint.

“All sides should exercise restraint and take steps to defuse the tension,” he demanded.

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