‘Can chief justice or army chief never be wrong?’ asks Saad Rafique

Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Sunday deplored that the politicians were being unjustly targeted and abused in the country, adding that “democracy was yet to become fully functional”.

“Can a chief justice or the chief of army staff never be wrong?” Rafique asked the audience while addressing the launch ceremony of veteran politician Javed Hashmi’s book Zinda Tareekh in Islamabad.

“Why is it that it is the prime minister who is always at fault?” Rafique asked, adding that the country will get weaker if its political parties are weak.

The minister argued that the “army should stay away from politics and controversies” and that there was a huge difference between the army’s professional and political roles. “There will be no compromise on the supremacy of Constitution,” he added.

“We do not want for a truck to arrive and take away everyone including Imran Khan,” he said, adding that “democracy was yet to become fully functional in the country”.

Taking on the courts, Rafique said: “After the lawyer’s movement, we thought that the courts will be free but the doctrine of necessity is still alive.”

“We will not accept if only a few people keep deciding the fate of this country.”

Rafique also claimed that engineered political parties, like Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), had no future in the country. “People from MQM should have been allowed to take their own decisions.”

Also speaking on the occasion, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani said the political parties should immediately take notice of “religion being used for political gains”. He said the writ of the state had been completely shattered during the recently concluded Faizabad sit-in.

Javed Hashmi also criticised the role of the armed forces in dealing with the Faizabad protesters. “A general giving the protesters Rs1,000 each is beyond comprehension,” he said. “Those who criticise the army are never forgiven.”

“We will always accept the Supreme Court’s decisions,” he said.

He said the people of Pakistan love the armed forces but are “not ready to give them [army] the right to rule the country”.

“Military rulers think that those who agree with hem are patriotic while those who do not are traitors,” Hashmi maintained.

During the ceremony, Saad Rafique praised Hashmi for his struggle for democracy and conceded that the PML-N was equally responsible for veteran leader’s departure from the party in 2011, adding that the ideological workers of the party were hurt by the decision.

Stressing on the need for the return of student politics so that Pakistan could produce more political workers like Hashmi, Rabbani said: “Javed Hashmi is a role model for all the youngsters.”

Climate Change Minister Mushahidullah also praised Hashmi for his political struggle. “I was deeply hurt at Javed Hashmi’s decision to quit PML-N,” he said.

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