Ayyaz Sadiq refuses to apologise: Implications for Pakistani politics?

Ayyaz Sadiq, ex-Speaker National Assembly, refuses to apologise for his words that have been found exaggerated and misleading. PMLN and Maulana Fazal ur Rehman are also supporting him. This creates an embarrassing situation for all those how have have been defending his words as a 'slip of tongue'. It also raises serious questions about the nature of Pakistani politics.

Ayyaz Sadiq

Ayyaz Sadiq, Ex-Speaker National Assembly, appeared in a press conference with JUIF leader, Maulana Fazal ur Rehman. Maulana praised Ayyaz Sadiq as a very responsible person, and Ayyaz insisted that he has never said irresponsible things and will never do that. When asked by a reporter “if he apologizes for his statements in National Assembly?” he said, “I have not said anything for which I need to apologize.”

 

Interestingly, when a reporter asked Maulana Fazal if Ayyaz Sadiq should have said something like that, Maulana responded while laughing that, “I think he should have said something more than that”


This press conference was in sharp contrast to another press conference by Information Minister that was held in Islamabad at more or less the same time. Shibli Faraz, the information minister, was clearly furious. He blasted Ayyaz Sadiq and PDM for pursuing an anti-state agenda.

Read more: Info minister Shibli Faraz blasts Ayaz Sadiq, but will the government do anything?

With the help of declassified clips from western intelligence agencies, including KGB, the Information minister pointed out that enemy agencies use “demoralisation” as the first step towards “destabilisation” of a nation state. He explained that demoralisation is achieved through the continuous creation of negative news and disinformation. He argued that Ayyaz Sadiq has acted following the PDM agenda, and it clearly aims to produce demoralization in the country.

Ayaz Sadiq’s refusal embarrassing for his supporters?

Ayaz Sadiq’s refusal to apologise is embarrassing for all those trying to defend him on national media. Prominent journalist and political commentator, Mujib ur Rehman Shami, had called Ayaz Sadiq’s statement a “slip of the tongue.” This infuriated prominent TV Anchor Moeed Pirzada, who tweeted that Shami is not fair because how can this be a slip of the tongue when PMLN has not even distanced itself from Sadiq’s statement.

Prominent columnist and TV Anchor Ejaz Haider had argued in a hard hitting piece that Ayyaz Sadiq’s words were grossly irresponsible. Ejaz Haider also discussed the whole chronology of events, of 48-72 hours, after the Indian air strike on Balakot to point out that Ayyaz Sadiq was totally misleading in his comments. Sadiq was not in the government; he was not part of decision making in Feb 2019 when the government decided to do a counter-strike by PAF at four points in occupied Kashmir, as a result of which two Indian planes (Mig-21 and SU-30) were downed and Wing Commander, Abhinandan was captured.

 


Ayyaz had, in his statement, presented his argument as if he was being consulted as if Govt needed any approval or permission from opposition MNAs; reality is that the government in best practices of parliamentary democracy was merely briefing the opposition. However, now Ayyaz Sadiq is not even prepared to accept the slightest responsibility for his misleading and irresponsible words. This must come as an embarrassment for all those who have been defending him.

Is Ayyaz Sadiq merely serving Nawaz’s political agenda?

Does one wonder why Ayyaz Sadiq is unrepentant on something that has been proven false and stupid? The answer may lie in the politics of PMLN; its leader Nawaz Sharif was disqualified for life and later convicted in corruption cases, he then struck a political deal and managed to land in London on health grounds. It is believed that he was expecting more political concessions in lieu of his unconditional support to the extension of Army Chief, Gen. Bajwa. Nawaz wants his daughter, Maryam, to become the future PM of Pakistan.

Read more: Ayaz Sadiq’s statement was due to a slip of the tongue, claims Mujeeb ur Rehman Shami.

He apparently wants the establishment’s help in rehabilitating the politics of Maryam. In PDM rallies, it is repeatedly said that PM Imran Khan does not matter; references are made directly to the Army Chief. However, all of this has reduced Army Chief’s moral authority, and apparently, no more relief is coming to Nawaz. A disappointed Nawaz is hitting harder and harder to force the establishment to give him more concessions.

Why Pakistani politicians act irresponsibly? 

Pakistan has never punished politicians for such grossly irresponsible actions. Words like national interest and traitor or corrupt have been used and misused so many times that they have lost their meanings. Pakistani prosecution and courts are very weak when it comes to matters of state and national interest. The result is that politicians know that they have no risks in saying whatever they say. Unlike India, Pakistani media is not hyper-nationalistic, where politicians are quickly taken to task if they prefer personal interest over the national narrative.

It is in these circumstances that statement of ex-Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir that if Ayaz Sadiq controversy is not ended soon then, he can also divulge secrets. Even Ayyaz Sadiq has threatened, in today’s press conference with Maulana Fazal ur Rehman, that he has been members of the committee on National Security and can say many things. It is obvious that Pakistani politicians care little for matters of national interest. The current behaviour on display by PMLN leaders is unprecedented in the history of statecraft. Will govt be able to come up with a strategy to restrain them remains to be seen. But some analysts believe that Nawaz Sharif wants to develop a situation that compels the Army to impose martial law. If this happens, then the whole political narrative will shift from political corruption into one of the “restorations of democracy.”

GVS News Analysis with input from TV News


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