LAHORE: Punjab Assembly opposition leader Raja Riaz, condemning Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s statement about the attachment of army and judiciary with him (Shahbaz) as a stakeholder in the democratic government’s affairs, has said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader wanted a ‘judicial martial law’ in the country.Talking to journalists during his visit to a protest camp of the Young Doctors Association (YDA) at the Services Hospital on Wednesday, Riaz said that Shahbaz had committed treachery after giving such a statement, which was a serious violation of the constitution of Pakistan and the punishment of treason is already fixed in the constitution.Riaz said that Shahbaz was also going against the policy of his party and his big brother because Nawaz Sharif, during his premiership, had forcefully taken resignation from the then army chief, General Jahangir Karamat, due to his suggestion for the intervention of judiciary in politics. He said such statements of Shahbaz were totally undemocratic and unconstitutional and democratic forces would not support them in any case.He urged Shahbaz to get proper knowledge of the constitution of Pakistan in which there was no place for his suggestion. He said that it was more important for a politician that he should study the constitution and follow it to strengthen democracy in the country if he believed in pro-people and democratic norms.Criticising the chief minister’s attitude towards different public issues, like doctors’ salaries and failure of the education system in the province, Riaz said that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) as a major opposition party would not allow the ruling party and the rulers to run the system as ‘Mughal Kings’ and all the due rights of citizens would be returned to them from ‘Takht-e-Lahore’.
The PPP leader also assured the young doctors that his party would support them on their demands for an increase in salaries and would discuss it in the Punjab Assembly, which is scheduled to hold its session on March 11. He also criticised the role of the secretary for health in the matter and said that the said bureaucrat was favoured by the chief minister and in the absence of health minister in Punjab, he had become a possessor of the department, which was a great example of “poor governance of the PML-N-led government in the province”.Answering a question about the independent identity of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Unification Group in Punjab Assembly, the opposition leader said that MPA Dr Tahir Ali Javed had no right to attend the Business Advisory Committee of the House as a leader of the bloc and if he tried to do so, his party would oppose this act. He also said that the PML-N-led government in Punjab has started ‘politics of turncoats’, which was harmful for democracy in the country.On the occasion, YDA President, Dr Hamid Butt, and other representatives, including Dr Rai Ahmad, Dr Ajmal and Dr Nasir, informed the opposition leader of their demands – Dailytimes