Islamabad, Nov. 22 (PTI): Pakistan’s political parties have warned the military regime that attempts to tinker with the constitution by incorporating amendments to empower President Pervez Musharraf would endanger the integrity of the country and result in its dismemberment.
The parties launched a bitter attack on Musharraf in the Assembly during the election of the Prime Minister yesterday for legalising his election with amendments that grant him powers to dismiss parliament.
As speaker after speaker attacked Musharraf’s amendments, no one from the pro-military Pakistan Muslim League-QA (PML-QA) defended the President. In the end, the PML (QA) candidate Mir Zafarullah Jamali was elected Prime Minister with 172 votes, barely a vote more than the majority.
The Islamic party alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal candidate Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the 1973 constitution was a consensus document. Any attempt to tamper with it could dismember the country as it happened in 1971 when the then military rulers prevented the Awami League from taking over power. “A dictator cannot be allowed to demolish the constitution, which came into being after a decade-old struggle,” Rahman said.
“The constitution is the consensus point and should be kept alive and untampered. Such an attempt can harm the national integrity of the country,” he said adding that he feared a repeat of the 1971 “catastrophe”.
Rehman, along with all other leaders of the top political parties, strongly criticised the newly-elected speaker Amir Hussain for stating that the Legal Framework Order (LFO) incorporating Musharraf’s amendments was part of the constitution.
“This was a clear denial of Pakistan’s sovereignty and integrity. We need to have an independent foreign policy,” he said, adding that people have voted for the MMA and its allies as a reaction to the presence of foreign troops and foreign elements in Pakistan.
Rehman also came down heavily on the economic polices of the Musharraf regime saying they had failed to address the core economic issues like poverty and illiteracy. “The time has come to reply on the local resources as the last resort to get rid of loans of IMF and World Bank,” he said.
Rehman said a vast majority of people have voted for the MMA as they desired to embrace the teachings of Islam. He said the country should be run according to the injunctions of the holy Quran.