Feb 26, 2009

Political leaders dismayed over Sharif verdict

Politicians, including parliamentarians, have expressed anguish over the Supreme Court verdict against the Sharif brothers and termed it a political decision.
JUI-S chief Senator Maulana Samiul Haq, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Committee on National Strategy, told newsmen that all 17 members of the committee had expressed concern over the decision.
PPP leaders, including Leader of the House in Senate and Federal Minister for Inter-provincial Coordination Raza Rabbani and Minister for Information Sherry Rahman, refused/declined to offer comments and stayed away from media crews outside the parliament house.
Almost all leaders of other parties, except for a PML-Q woman parliamentarian Shahnaz Shaikh, termed the decision as 'uncalled for' in the already charged political atmosphere that could aggravate the situation in the country.
Senator Prof Sajid Mir expressed concern over the verdict and said the people would not let those involved in the disqualification of the PML-N leaders go scot free.
Chief of his own faction of the JUI, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, said: 'We do not and cannot support the disqualification of Sharif brothers as it can have negative affects on the country’s political temperature', adding that 'We have never supported such decisions in the past'.
Secretary General of PML-Q Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said: 'Our party has always opposed politics of confrontation and such decisions will certainly increase the atmosphere of confrontation'. He said Pakistan could not affored to take such political confrontations.
ANP’s information secretary Zahid Khan said: 'We hold the judiciary in high esteem but political decisions should have been left for the masses to decide'. Being member of the PPP-led coalition, he said the the verdict might create a wedge between the two political parties.
Senator Tariq Azeem Khan of the PML-Q also expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court verdict.
Senator Abdul Rahim Mandokhel of the Pakhtoonkhwah Milli Awami Party termed the verdict as harmful to the political atmosphere which was unfortunately caused by the judiciary that came into being as result of the November 3, 2007 actions.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s deputy parliamentary leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said he would refrain from commenting on the verdict as that was the prerogative of his party’s ‘Rabita committee’, but he added that he understood that the verdict would have far reaching consequences on the country’s political landscape.
Shahnaz Shaikh of the PML-Q said that Z.A. Bhutto, who was handed down a death sentence, not only accepted the court decision but also did not boycott the apex court proceedings till last. She said the Sharifs should also have attended the Supreme Court proceedings.
Senator Prof Khurshid termed it a ‘black day’ in the history of the country, adding that he was with the PML-N leaders.
Former interior minister and chief of his own faction of the PPP, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, feared that the verdict might lead to countrywide instability and disruption.

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