- Says such politicians should be held accountable
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday that “anarchists and arsonists who wear the garb of politicians and attack the symbols of the state do not qualify for a dialogue”.
In a tweet, he wrote dialogue is deeply embedded in the political process, which helps democracy mature and evolve.
“Many political and constitutional breakthroughs occurred when political leaders sat across the table to craft a consensus,” he said.
“However, there is a major difference here, the anarchists and arsonists who wear the garb of politicians and attack the symbols of the state do not qualify for a dialogue.”
They should rather be held to account for their militant actions. This is the prevalent practice even in developed democracies, the PM said.
His comments come as political stakeholders are demanding a dialogue to break a deadlock between the government and opposition following the May 9 mayhem.
On May 9, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) which triggered nation-wide protests that transformed into violence.
Subsequently, a few state institutions, including Corps Commander House (Jinnah House) in Lahore, came under attack. The protesters also set multiple buildings on fire.
Police arrested scores of PTI workers and leaders and many of them are currently in prisons.
Later, the government announced to “spare no culprit” and try them in military courts if they meet the requirements.
On May 17, PM Shehbaz said that the roots of the mutinous attack on the state, its symbols and sensitive installations on May 9 “lie in the contents of Imran Niazi’s speeches over the past one year”.
According to him, Imran had liberally deployed religious imagery to brand his political agitation as a war between truth and falsehood.
“He has relentlessly maligned and attacked the armed forces and the sitting Army Chief and very cunningly prepared his cult with the slogans of Haqeeqi Azadi aimed at inciting them for violence we witnessed on May 9.”