ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan People’s Party and its allies have been divided in hawks and doves over the option of invoking Article 6 to charge Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, chief of Tehreek-e-Minhaj-ul-Quran for revolt.
While the PML-N has left the matter to the federal government. Background discussions and interviews with leaders of various political parties including those in the parliament and outside it show that the allies are divided over the PPP proposed option. PPP is rather facing opposition from within its coalition partners, who believe that Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s long march and sit-in have fizzled out, therefore there was no need for exercising such an extreme option.
“What is the constitutional justification of Dr Qadri’s charter of demands”, asked PPP Central Information Secretary and Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira. “We cannot deviate from the Constitution”, Kaira added.
“Dr Qadri’s long march is more like a revolt against the elected government”, ANP senior Vice President Senator Haji Adeel said while commenting on the sit-in and charter of demand but declined to share his party’s proposed action leaving the matter to top leadership of the ruling coalition to decide.
Although there were no central leaders from PML-Q and MQM available till filing of this report for their reaction, some of their second-tier leaders were not upbeat that their respective central leadership would support the PPP proposed option of invoking Article 6. They believed that such an extreme proposition could cause serious harm to their parties in the elections.
“We would better propose that the government should decide about the elections”, sources in PML-Q and MQM said.
Another major parliamentary party JUI-F has yet to give its reaction over Dr Tahirul Qadri’s long march and sit-in as the party was still in process of consultations.
On the other hand, main opposition party PML-N has rejected the demands of Dr. Qadri and extended all out political cooperation the main ruling party PPP.
“PML-N regards Dr Tahirul Qadri’s demands as extra constitutional but it left to the federal on how it should deal with his sit-in”, party’s central information secretary Senator Mushidullah Khan told TheNation on Tuesday.
Two other important non-parliamentary parties PTI of Imran Khan and Jamaat-e-Islami did not regard Dr Qadri’s sit-in as a revolt. “Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) do not look at his peaceful protest as a revolt”, JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch remarked. He said actually rulers were themselves responsible for the prevailing problems in the country because of their bad governance and corruption.
He was of the view that since sequence of the Supreme Court’s judgment and Dr Qadri’s reaction has cast shadow of confusion causing doubt about his efforts, therefore it was imperative that government should immediately announce election schedule to steer the country out of the prevailing mess.