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Leaders join hands to 'save' democracy

05 January, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: The top political leadership of the country on Friday threw its weight behind the democratic system by resolving to block any attempt to derail the democratic process in the country.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Friday phoned PML-N President Nawaz Sharif and ANP's President Asfandyar Wali Khan and also held a meeting with Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) President Mahmood Khan Achakzai. The development is significant in the backdrop of current political situation of the country, triggered by the announcement by Dr Tahirul Qadri to lead a multi-million-men march to Islamabad to press for electoral reforms before the next general elections.

In his telephonic conversation with Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister discussed the political situation in the country, and both the leaders agreed that democracy was the way forward and the people of Pakistan would not allow any attempt to derail the democratic process in the country. Talking to the premier, Nawaz said that Pakistan had lived through the horrors of so-called slogans of revolutions and long marches.

He said that the best way to ascertain the people's wishes was through the ballot. The prime minister said that restoration of democracy was the result of an arduous struggle by the political forces in the country. He said that the system needed continuity to evolve and it was a sign of political maturity that all political forces were on the same page as far as need for continuity of democratic system was concerned.

Raja said that the government was committed to the holding of fair, free and transparent elections in the country as per law and constitution, and assured the PML-N chief that all necessary steps would be taken to achieve this objective. Deputy Prime Minister and PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervez Elahi and PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain met the prime minister and discussed political situation currently prevailing in the country. The leaders of the PML-Q assured the premier of their unflinching support to the PPP-led coalition government and conveyed their firm commitment to strengthen democracy in the country.

The prime minister discussed the recent political developments in his telephonic conversation with Asfandyar Wali Khan. The ANP chief said that their goal was to establish sustainable democracy in the country. Reiterating his support for the coalition government, he said that any attempt to create hurdles in the democratic process was unacceptable.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raja reiterated that the government considered elections as a national trust and was committed to holding them according to constitution and law in a fair, free and transparent manner. Earlier, Mahmood Khan Achakzai discussed the prevailing political situation in the country with the prime minister. The PMAP chief said that the people of Pakistan had struggled long and hard to establish democracy in the country and warned those trying to derail democratic process that they should not treat democracy as a hoax and if any attempt was made to harm it, all political forces would join hands to resist it and turn the entire country into Tahrir Square.

Achakzai urged the prime minister to take necessary measures for holding fair, free and impartial elections on time. Responding to Achakzai's remarks, the prime minister said that elections were a trust of the people of Pakistan and they would be held on time as stipulated under the constitution.


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