- NA speaker suggests moving ahead for progress.
- “Intra-political party dialogue should be opened,” he insists.
- Ashraf critical of those who bring up past issues repeatedly.
ISLAMABAD: Lamenting about the lack of progress in Pakistan due to past vengeance, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has urged all political parties to opt for dialogue for the country’s betterment, The News reported.
The speaker’s remarks came during an interview with a television channel on Sunday in which he was also questioned about the 2017 Faizabad sit-in and whether “all players and facts” should be revealed.
Responding to the question the NA speaker said: “I want to say that we have to look at the outcome of whatever has been happening. Even after 75 to 76 years, we have not been able to stand on our own feet. So we have to think about whether we remain stuck in the past or if there is something which we should take a step towards,” he said.
Ashraf added there is not a lot of distance between the present and the future, and suggested moving ahead.
“I still think, and I have said so many times before […] to do consultation and sit everyone down [and] open a dialogue. Intra-political party dialogue should be opened,” he insisted.
When asked whether the calls for holding former army officials accountable were appropriate, Ashraf said: “Okay, then keep on harping and whining about it. You won’t be able to move forward one inch. This practice is not right where after every two or three years you open an issue of the past. Nations which have progressed are forward-looking people.”
The NA speaker criticised bringing up the past issues repeatedly but remaining silent at the time when it occurred. “This is a sign of cowardice. A living nation calls out a wrong action when it is being committed,” he said.
He lamented that in Pakistan issues were raised after five years and those who had said something differently previously would change their narratives.
“The nation is getting confused from all this and we are spreading hate. Now there should be an intra-party dialogue and a new social contract should be devised, in which all stakeholders should have an input,” he reiterated.
The NA speaker said that any issues with the military should be resolved by taking it up with the institution privately behind closed quarters instead of in public or on social media. He said the latter only benefitted the country’s enemies.
Ashraf was also asked about President Dr Arif Alvi’s performance, responding to which he said that the position was Pakistan’s highest constitutional office.
“What compulsions were there that this perception emerged that he (Alvi) represents the PTI, more than the presidency? So this is not a positive thing and he should refrain from it.”
On the announcement of the election date, Ashraf said that it would have been best if political parties had dealt with the matter themselves instead of the Supreme Court having to get involved. However, he said that he had to accept the court’s verdict on the matter since the apex court was the highest constitutional body in the country with regard to legal interpretation and judgments.