Pakistans major opposition parties see a “systematic and planned campaign” behind circulation of rumours about imposition of some kind of an emergency in the country, like the one enforced by then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975, and ongoing talk in social and mainstream media in favour of a presidential form of government, Dawn news reported.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) suspect that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is behind such a “campaign” to distract the people’s attention from real issues and its failure on every front.
This perception, however, was categorically refuted by Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who termed the speculation about emergency or presidential form of government a part of “fake news culture” prevailing in the country thanks to some YouTubers and vloggers.
Amid the rumours, the members of the joint opposition on Wednesday submitted a resolution to the National Assembly Secretariat expressing the resolve to uphold and strengthen the federal parliamentary system in the country as provided in the 1973 Constitution.
“When the government, imposed through rigged elections, has ruined the country, then whisperings of imposition of an Indira Gandhi-like emergency and change in the system through various formulas are being heard,” Ahsan Iqbal, the PML-N secretary general, said in a tweet.
Iqbal was referring to the imposition of emergency in India by Gandhi on June 25, 1975 which remained in force till March 21, 1977.
(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.firstname.lastname@example.org)