ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed the joint-session of Parliament on Friday. The prime minister was critical of the sit-ins taking place in the federal capital for the last five weeks.
During his address, the prime minister emphasised that no long or short march could derail their mission as he highlighted damage caused by sit-ins on Constitution Avenue to Pakistan’s economy and global reputation.
The prime minister informed parliamentarians that a large part of the media had exposed people behind the sit-ins. He added that people had rejected those spreading hatred while for the past five weeks parliament had been witnessing how people behind the sit-ins were encouraging others to revolt.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said state buildings have been attacked by the protesters specifically mentioning the attack on PTV.
The prime minister also expressed his gratitude to parliamentarians particularly the opposition leader for supporting Parliament, the Constitution and democracy.
Focusing on rigging allegations, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said no proof had been brought forward by Imran Khan.
“Six months ago along with two of my cabinet ministers, I visited Imran Khan at Bani Gala. PTI leadership was present during this meeting which discussed the country’s situation. Imran did not mention election rigging during this meeting. I do not know where this allegation came from?”
The prime minister questioned why doubt was being raised over 372 seats when rigging allegations were over 30 constituencies. The PML-N won 20 of these seats and according to Prime Minister Sharif, even if the PTI won those seats, his party would still hold majority.
The prime minister also addressed the ’35 punctures’ allegation, stating that the PML-N had only won 12 of these seats, while 20 of these constituencies were not even in Punjab.
Prime Minister Sharif said protesters had made Pakistan into a joke in the global community and also caused immense damage to the country’s economy. He emphasised how the situation in Islamabad had led to the cancellation of the Chinese president’s visit.
“A few protesters are projecting a negative image of Pakistan.”
PM Sharif said categorically that they would not allow the tradition of a few people sending the prime minister home. Prime Minister Sharif once again expressed his resolve to safeguard democracy and thanked Parliament for its support. “We will not let anyone take an axe to democracy.”
On the issue of protesters being vacated from Constitution Avenue, Prime Minister Sharif said this was not difficult but they were fearful for the women and children being used as human shields.
The prime minister highlighted how the sit-ins had taken the focus away from Operation Zar-e-Azb and the IDPs. He also praised the role of the armed forces, police and other organisations who were assisting with flood relief.