ISLAMABAD – The Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) has resolved to defend the supremacy of the Constitution and democracy and has called for developing consensus among all the political parties and institutions.
In a joint resolution passed in the “National Security Conference’ on Monday, the CPNE demanded fill implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) and appreciated sacrifices of all the people, armed forces and the tribal people in the war against terrorism.
It also demanded indiscriminate action against non-state actors, proxies and the outlawed organizations, which are a threat to national security. The resolution reiterated commitment to democratic rights and respect for peaceful protest. However, it rejected all efforts to destabilize the democratic and constitutional structure. The resolution also asked for a transparent monitoring system, accountability without discrimination and implementation of the law of access to information.
Addressing the conference, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said hijacking of the system through power will not be allowed. He said implementation of one’s agenda by use of power is fascism.
“If PTI Imran Khan succeeds in imposing his agenda by gathering a few thousand people on Nov 2, then no government will continue beyond six months in fitture,” he said, adding that PTI should wait for the decision of the Supreme Court, which is set to hear petitions on the Panama Papers on Nov 1.
Ahsan Iqbal said, the issue of Panama Leak was being heard by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and setting a court on road was illegal. He said, there was an urgent need to make the country politically and economically strong by setting aside irresponsible politics.
The Minister said, “Allah Almighty has given us several opportunities in shape of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and we have to move forward with unity for its completion.”
The entire world was terming the CPEC a game changer and it had enhanced the confidence of world institutions, he added. Ahsan Iqbal said the world media had also termed Pakistan an emerging economy.
He said, the operation Zarb-e-Azb was progressing successfully and terrorists were on the run who were challenging the state a few years ago. Peace and political stability was a pre-requisite for taking the fight against terrorism to its logical end, he added. Ahsan Iqbal said people had rejected Imran Khan’s stance during general election in Azad Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and in the by elections as well. He also said that nobody would be allowed to play with the economic future of the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief of JUI(F), Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman said national unity could not be created by imposing decisions through force. “Political governments may have made mistakes but still it is better to wait for the elections when people will punish those who did not keep their promises,” he said. The country need unity and solidarity and importance of constitutions, parliament and national institutions should be upheld. “We have to prove unity and solidarity through our behavior,” he added.
He also said that, the media should play a positive role for forging unity and harmony among the politicians keeping in view the supreme national interest He said, India had been committing grave atrocities against innocent people in occupied Kashmir by killing and injuring them indiscriminately.
The Indian troops were resorting to unprovoked firing on Line of Control (LOC) but national solidarity was damaged by a party, by boycotting important joint session of the parliament. He said, all the institutions should play their role within the framework of constitution.
Terming the country a home, he said, peace and economic stability could save it adding, the elected government should be allowed to complete its constitutional term and political parties should wait for the general election for the change.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Sherry Rehman said the government is responsible for creating consensus in the nation. The history had thrown such nations into darkness which had failed to forge unity among their ranks. She said, the country had been facing challenges and it was duty of the every citizen to save the homeland. She said, China was a friendly country and transparent implementation of CPEC was in the interest of the country.
Amir Jamat-e- Islatni, Siraj-ul- Haq said national unity cannot be created without establishing a justice system. He said, he will not accept any change through unconstitutional methods. The supremacy of law, constitution and merit should be ensured.
He said, Pakistan was bestowed with natural resources, which should be equally distributed among the people. He said, Kashmiris struggling for the right of self-determination in (Indian] occupied Kashmir were looking at their Pakistani brethren. “It is our duty to highlight Kashmir issue and help our Kashmiri brethren,” he added.
The Head of Muttahida Quami Movement Pakistan Dr. Farooq Sattar said that, national solidarity is extremely important to counter internal and external challenges. All the political parties should devise a national agenda by setting aside their political differences, he added. He said, all the obstacles on the way of unity and solidarity should be removed. He also demanded removal of unjust taxation system. He said Karachi should be given political ownership.
Awami National Party’s Leader Afrasiab Khattak put emphasis on establishing better relations with neighbors and on paying attention to the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The terms of reference to resolve issue of offshore companies should be settled through dialogue. He said, the political issues should be settled in the parliament and political parties should avoid taking them on roads. He stressed that, “the situation on Eastern and Western borders demand us to forge unity among our ranks.”Former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Wazir Ahmad Khan Jogezai said, the implementation of constitution in letter and spirit besides supremacy of parliament was must for the federation.
President, CPNE, Zia Shahid said, the government should spend more for the provision of health facilities and education, the common man can’t sustain a peaceful life in a meager salary, social justice is crucial for the development and progress of the nation.
Senior journalist Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami said that, though the performance of the democratic governments has not been exemplary, CPNE would resist any change through undemocratic means. He said, the Panama Leak issue was with the Supreme Court and we should wait for its verdict He also said, CPNE would not remain a silent spectator in protecting the constitution.
CPNE General Secretary Aijazul Hag said the purpose of the conference was to bring the political leadership on one platform, and also invited opposition parties to build national consensus in this regard. He asked the political patties to resolve their difference through dialogue.
Senior Columnist, Ikram Sehgal said, all the pressure was due to CPEC. He also added that, Pakistan would emerge as a strong country after successful implementation of CPEC.
Columnist Itntiaz Alain said, the Supreme Court had admitted the petition regarding Panama Leak He said, there was a need to cool down political polarization and matter should not be settled on the roads.
The conference was also addressed by Vice-President Mehtab Khan Abbasi, Jamil Athar Qazi and Dr. Jabbar Khattak.
All the attendants of the conference appreciated CPNE’s effort to build consensus among the state, press and civil society. All parties acknowledged and accredited joint declaration issued by CPNE at the end of the conference.