MPAs jubilant over Musharraf's exit

LAHORE - Emotionally charged members Punjab Assembly and a gathering of workers belonging to various political parties outside the Assembly building on Monday shouted anti-Musharraf slogans, and distributed sweets after the resignation of General (r) Pervez Musharraf, as President of Pakistan. On this occasion sweets were also distributed, while the workers were holding placards of Quaid Pakistan Muslim League-N Nawaz Sharif and former Chairperson Pakistan Peoples Party Benazir Bhutto Shaheed. Workers were also raising slogans for Nawaz Sharif as the next president. Against expectations, the workers did not gather in a large number, while the police guarding the Assembly premises did not stop any body from reaching the building.  On this occasion, leaders from both the opposition and the Treasury benches talked to the media in front of the Punjab Assembly building. Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal, while maintaining that complete democracy had been restored after Musharraf's resignation, said Pakistan was at the same position like that of 1947. "The law should be activated against the unconstitutional and illegal steps taken by Pervez Musharraf, and he should go through a trial as well. I believe no one can stop law from taking its due course now," he said adding that restoration of the deposed judiciary to its pre-November 3 situation was part of the PML-N manifesto. "Now the judges will be restored soon for the dispensation of justice, which will ultimately lead to prosperous and progressive Pakistan," he maintained. Leader of the Opposition Ch Zaheer-ud-Din maintained that Pervez Musharraf was the constitutional president of Pakistan, and he had resigned as per the constitution. "The ruling coalition used to accuse Musharraf as the only obstruction in the way to the restoration of the deposed judges. Now after this hindrance removed, the masses will see how quickly the coalition actualises its promise. Moreover, the masses will also know about Musharraf's replacement in the coming days," he said while maintaining that the ruling coalition was an unnatural one. "We will take the media along regarding the provision of cheap flour, and bringing an end to the electricity shortage," he added. Senior Provincial Minister Raja Riaz Ahmed has said that Pakistan Peoples Party has fulfilled its promise made to the nation on August 14, 2008 to rid the country of dictatorship and the entire credit for this achievement goes to Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N leadership as their political vision and struggle paved the way for a durable democracy in the country. "PPP's slogan of 'Go Musharraf Go' has reached its logical conclusion. Co-Chairperson PPP, through his wisdom and political acumen, isolated Pervez Musharraf and sensing failure of his conspiracies he was forced to tender his resignation," he said adding new president should be from Sindh. While replying to a question about the restoration of the deposed judges, he said the coalition partners would discuss the issue, and would resolved the matter in the shortest possible time. Meanwhile, the Lahore chapter of the PPP took out a rally in the City to celebrate Musharraf's exit from power. Led by party's Lahore President Azizur Rehman Chan and Secretary Information, Zekria Butt, it started from Baghbanpura and culminated at the Punjab Assembly, where Senior Minister Raja Riaz and other party legislators welcomed the participants. Addressing the rally, Raja Riaz said that it was owing to wise political strategy of party chief Asif Ali Zardari that a dictator had to resign under public pressure. He said an era of true democracy had ushered in with the resignation of Pervez Musharraf.

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