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Opposition alliance can’t bring PML-N govt down, says Saad Rafique

LAHORE: Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Saturday lashed out at opponents for  politicizing the religion for petty interests.

Addressing all parties’ conference at Lahore High Court (LHC) Bar, Saad Rafique lambasted the growing alliance of opposition parties to mount pressure on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government for resignations of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif over the Model Town incident.

“There is nothing wrong in formation of such alliances as it cannot bring down the government,” the minister from the ruling party underlined.

He said the politics of lies had inflicted massive losses to the country and the opposition should refrain from undemocratic practices.

“There is a dire need to soften the extreme attitudes to prevent political tensions,” Rafique emphasized.

Referring to anti-government campaigns, the PML-N leader said there was a time when anti-Bhutto slogans were rampant across the country and so as the anti-Nawaz politics now.

He warned the opposition parties that if they were aiming to dismiss the government, they should remember they could face similar situation.

Rafique’s statement comes at a time when embattled PML-N government is being pressed for resignation of its two top leaders from Punjab government in the backdrop of Law Minister Zahid Hamid’s resignation.

More trouble for govt as PTI, PPP join hands with Qadri

Earlier on Thursday, former president Asif Ali Zardari and Tahirul Qadri unanimously demanded resignation from Punjab Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif over the Model Town incident.

Expressing support to PAT, Zardari threatened to take to streets and launch a campaign against Shehbaz, if he did not resign after Baqar Najfi report made public.

“We equally share grief of heirs of the victims and the PAT. Such an incident has never been witnessed in Pakistan,” Zardari said while talking to media in a joint press conference with Qadri.

The PPP would no more tolerate Shehbaz, he thundered.

At least 14 people died in the Model Town tragedy or the Lahore massacre on 17 June 2014.

Punjab government on Tuesday released the report of the judicial inquiry carried out into the 2014 Model Town incident hours after larger bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered the government to release the report regarding the incident which left at least 14 people dead and several others injured.

Amongst other conclusions, the report said that Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif did not pass the “disengagement” order as he claimed before the judicial commission. It also maintained that the operation planned and designed under the then Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah “could have easily been avoided” and that the “police officers actively participated in the massacre”.

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