Mar 7, 2009

Government comes under fire in Senate

The lawmakers also strongly criticised the proclamation of governor’s rule in Punjab.
Earlier, Leader of the House Raza Rabbani moved a motion for suspending the day’s agenda and starting a general debate on the governor’s rule, disqualification of Sharif brothers, Lahore terror attack and blowing up of Rehman Baba’s shrine in Peshawar.
Rabbani justified the governor rule on the grounds that no other path was left after Sharif brothers took a tough line after their disqualification.
The PPP leader said the judiciary had given such decisions in the past as well which had roots in the civil-military nexus. He said the PPP government was eager to restore the Punjab government through election of a new leader of any party that enjoyed majority support in the house.
Awami National Party’s parliamentary leader Haji Mohammad Adeel said the judiciary in Pakistan haf lost the trust of people because of various controversial verdicts in the past and the Sharif brothers’ disqualification was one such case.
He recounted the judicial murder of PPP founder Z.A. Bhutto and also that of his parent party National Awami Party that had put the opposition in a complete disarray.
Adeel said: 'courts cannot disqualify any popular leader and the Supreme Court’s recent verdict in Sharifs case had caused the country a huge political upheaval.
The Supreme Court verdict, he said, had shocked the majority of the national leadership, adding that even President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, JUI-F chief Fazlur Rahman, ANP president Asfandyar Wali Khan and others had expressed shock over the verdict.
Adeel said there was a clear administrative and security lapse in the recent Lahore terror attack.
Justifying the government’s accord with the TNSM to establish peace in the restive Swat valley, he said the army had been in the area since Musharraf's rule and the issue was not going to be resolved without negotiations.
He said the people of NWFP regarded highly the renowned Pashto poet and Sufi saint Rehman Baba, and strongly condemned the attack on his shrine.
Jamaat Islami leader Prof. Khurshid Ahmed warned the government against Western designs and claimed that Pakistan’s nuclear assets were under threaten since the US was now giving its total attention to Pakistan after quitting the Iraq war. He added that all hopes that the democracy would flourish after the Feb 18 elections had been shattered because the present government had completely failed to correct any wrong doing of the previous Musharraf regime.
In Punjab, he said, the mandate of the people had been abused, adding that government resources including the security agencies were being used to win the loyalties of MPAs from other parties.
Terming the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team as an attack on Pakistan, he attributed the security lapse to the 'games' in which both President Zardari and Governor Salman Taseer were playing in the province.
Earlier, opening the debate, Leader of Opposition Kamil Ali Agha said his party was disappointed by the 'immature attitude' of both major political parties in the country.
He said his party chief Chaudhry Shujaat had floated the idea of convening of an All Party Conference only after witnessing the incompetence of political parties in resolving the current political crisis.
He added that the so called Charter of Democracy had now become a ‘joke of democracy’.
Referring to the recent appointments of superior courts judges, he said the ruling party must ensure that best persons were selected on merit instead of accommodating party activists.
He termed the Swat accord as best for restoration of peace, but demanded that it be implemented in letter and spirit.
He warned that against accusing the Pakistani administration for security lapses in the Lahore attack and expressed the fear that the same line of reasonging could be used to justify an attack on the country’s nuclear assets by western countries.
Agha criticised a statement by Adviser on Interior Affairs Rehman Malik that the Lahore terror attacks had nothing to do with the Indian intelligence agency RAW.
JUI-F's Gul Nasib said that lawlessness has suddenly increased in Malakand and the abduction of minor children and women had become rampant following the recent accord between the government and banned TNSM.
He demanded an immediate lifting of ban from the TNSM which, he claimed, was a peaceful organization working for the enforcement of Shariah in the area.
PMAP's Raza Mohammad Raza, however, termed TSNM's chief Sufi Mohammad as the country's 'biggest terrorist'. The upper house chaired by acting chairman Jan Mohammad Jamali was adjourned till 10am on Saturday.

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