ISLAMABAD: Putting aside the all-important debate on Karachi unrest, the gladiators of the PPP and the PML-N returned to their habitual mudslinging in the National Assembly on Thursday.The debate in the lower House took an ugly turn when PML-N MNA Hanif Abbasi opened a front against the PPP, saying that both Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani had never been unanimously elected as prime ministers. When Bhutto even failed to form government in two provinces, how he could have been claimed to be a unanimously elected prime minister, he remarked. He went on to allege that the seeds of terrorism were sown by the PPP with the forming of Al-Zulfikar.Then he enumerated case of alleged corruption by the PPP regime and mentioned embezzlements in the Pakistan Steel Mills. Talking about the NRO, NICL and Haj scandals, he said that the court could not get its verdicts implemented; in such circumstances who would accept the court, he questioned, adding that the jailed culprits would say they were discriminated against.Abbasi accused Prime Minister Gilani of seeking to divide the provinces along the linguistic lines, saying his party was not against subdivision of provinces but it should be administrative grounds.
He also came down hard on the Interior Minister Rehman Malik, demanding that a Pakistani citizen should be the interior minister as a national of Pakistan can better feel the pain of the people.The PML-N leader alleged that the government was ruining the country to keep one political party with it. “I congratulate the jayalas (PPP loyalists) to have those in coalition who possess the pen used to write the verdict of Bhutto’s hanging. I also congratulate them for their new coalition partners who were nominated (as enemies) by Benazir Bhutto herself “, he added.
Continuing his string of personal assaults, Hanif Abbasi said those who were giving statements against the migrants (Mohajreen) made properties by bathing the dogs of the English rulers. He said that the government has failed to bring peace to Karachi and Balochistan during last three and half years of its rule. Peace cannot prevail till the existence of this government, he pronounced.
From the PPP side Imtiaz Safdar Warraich came to show his fighting skills who said that Abbasi never questioned the nationality of former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz from whom he had been taking grants. The PPP Punjab president said that Abbasi was addressing with the same zeal as he did in past while helping Musharraf in passing the 17th constitutional amendment.Warraich asserted that from 2002 to 2011, PPP won all elections but the PML-N won just one contest, the one held in the Convention Centre last week. The PML-N criticises PPP for making alliance with PML-Q but they (PML-N) themselves opened the doors for Musharraf’s friend in Punjab and even in the National Assembly, he added.
He said that General Abdul Qadir who was a sitting MNA of PML-N was a governor during Musharraf’s regime.Talking about the loadshedding, he said that it was PPP which added net power to the national grid while the PML-N did not add a single watt to it. He said that after 18th amendment, the right to generate electricity has been conceded to provinces but no power generation project has been started by the PML-N government in Punjab.
National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza intervened and stopped Imtiaz from continuing his speech when a number of PML-N MNAs aggressively asserted that he was not speaking on the Karachi issue.A saner voice echoed in assembly when, JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman said that calling army in Krachi was not a solution to the problem; all the political forces should sit together to resolve the issue instead. “I have been opposing military operations in Fata and Balochistan and again I oppose calling army in Karachi.”
He elaborated his point: If a power like America failed to find a military solution in Afghanistan and India could not put down the movement of Kashmiri people with sheer force, how a military can restore peace to Karachi.”“Peace can never be secured by calling an army against the masses. Army is our most respected institution. Do not make it a party. We will have to stop blame game to move forward to strengthen Pakistan.”
Fazl regretted that the ANP and MQM were demanding to call army in Karachi and similar voices were being heard from the ruling party. He said such voices are raised when civil governments fail, adding that in his view the Sindh Government has failed.Earlier, during his address, Hanif Abbasi said that as many as 1,500 have been gunned down during the last six months in Karachi, with 350 killings in July alone, and nobody knows who is responsible for these murders.
Abbasi criticised the federal minister for interior for his absence from the House and asked the government to resolve the issue. He said non issues are highlighted in the assembly at the cost of the real public issues only to divert the attention of the masses from real problems.PPP MNA Imtiaz Safdar Warraich said the government was determined to overcome security challenges in Karachi, and hoped it would succeed in its mission. He played down the opposition’s criticism over the government’s performance, saying PML-N was out to gain political mileage on sensitive issues like Karachi.
MQM lawmaker Sajid Ahmed said that the innocent people were being killed in Karachi and the writ of the government does not exist anywhere in the city. He claimed extortionists were killing the traders over refusal to giving money to them. He urged the law enforcement agencies to curb the menace of target killings and deal with the unscrupulous elements with an iron hand.Sajid Ahmad said that massacre of Muhajirs in Karachi was carried out in 1964 due to supporting Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah. He said that the MQM mandate would have to be accepted for peace and tranquillity in Karachi.
ANP MNA Bushra Gohar said Karachi is under fire, but seriousness as it ought to be has not been shown so far to end the violence. She said there was across the board commitment for de-weaponisation of Karachi and taking indiscriminate actions against the perpetrators of violence. She supported Commissionerate System in Karachi, arguing such a huge city would be better administered this way. MQM MNA Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan said squatters were occupying lands in Karachi, besides minting money from traders and businessmen. – Nation