Well-placed diplomatic sources from the Western countries are apparently shying away from making any direct comment, saying it is internal matter of Pakistan. Still they are keeping close eye on the evolving political developments in the country.
Many of them are defiantly concerned to the extent if these developments especially the long march announced by Chairman Of Tekreek-e-Minhajul Quran Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri would affect the coming of elections in the country.
“Long march is internal matter of Pakistan”, was the blunt answer of US Embassy’s spokesperson Rian Harris when this scribe sought the US reaction over the long march. However, she said that the United States is looking towards free and fair elections in Pakistan, adding that the US hopes that all the political parties would play their due role to this end.
A senior diplomatic source in the British High Commission told TheNation on Thursday that Pakistan’s friends including the United Kingdom look forward to witnessing elections are credible and acceptable to the Pakistani people. “We hope all political parties in Pakistan will play their part in ensuring free and fair elections in accordance with the constitution”, British official said. The official said that the coming elections will be a crucial milestone in Pakistan’s democratic history: the first time one civilian government will succeed another one at an election. “A strong, stable, constitutional democracy is firmly in Pakistan’s interests and will be welcomed by all Pakistan’s friends, including the United Kingdom,” the official added. Likewise, sources in other foreign missions held the similar views regarding the evolving political developments in Pakistan.The dramatic announcement of long march on January 14 has stunned the mainstream political parties especially the PPP-led ruling coalition and main opposition party PML-N who regarded the development as an attempt towards delaying the coming polls. Interestingly, PPP’s important coalition partner MQM has also announced to take part in the long march against the wishes of the PPP and other coalition partners including ANP.
While the PML-Q which supported the demands of Dr.Tahir ul Qadri but refused to take part in the Long March that would commence from Lahore on January 13 and would culminate in Islamabad.
Dr Qadri in his announcement has demanded from the government crucial elections reforms ahead of the next elections as well as formation of the caretaker government strictly in accordance with Articles 62 and 63 of the constitution.