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Army 'totally indifferent' to Musharraf case, says govt

04 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The government on Friday told the Senate that the army was totally indifferent to the treason trial of ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf by a Special Court while referring to a statement of Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif a day earlier.

An opposition senator criticised the federal government for what he called silently watching the show of blocking the Nato supplies being staged by the activists of a political party. He said the blockade had badly affected the Afghan transit trade, depriving Pakhtuns of livelihood.

PPPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said the ISPR had promptly reacted to a statement of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Ameer Munawar Hassan on the martyrs' issue, but it was strange that the ISPR was silent on Musharraf's claim that the entire army was worried about his trial.

Chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari chaired the House proceedings of the 100th session that has been summoned before time to fulfill the requirement of mandatory sittings in a calendar year.

Zafarul Haq said there should be no doubts after the viewpoint of the defence minister that it was not necessary that the ISPR should respond to each and every statement issued. Babar contended that the army's silence conveyed the impression that it was really opposed to Musharraf's trial.

A strong objection was raised to the prime minister's "style of running the government through his family members and friends". It was also alleged by the opposition that the government was more interested in the trial of former military ruler than making efforts to restore law and order in Pakistan.

Earlier, resuming the debate on a motion moved by Mian Raza Rabbani of the PPPP on December 18 during the last session, Haji Muhammad Adeel of the ANP charged that the country was in the hands of a family and its few friends, who were now preparing to distribute the state entities among themselves in the name of privatisation.

He pointed out that there would hardly be any other country in the world where there was no formal foreign minister, defence minister and minister of commerce and an adviser and a special assistant ran the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"If you have a look at the list, all relatives of the prime minister, nephews and sons-in-law and some friends are in the government and none has seen the face of theprime minister in the Senate yet. Even after the 18th Amendment, he does not come to this House and seldom attends the NA proceedings," he alleged.

He accused the government of being confused on how to deal with the challenge of terrorism and recalled how all parties had given a sort of blank cheque to the prime minister to restore peace by either talking to the Taliban or taking action against them.

The senator from Peshawar contended that terrorists had inflicted more losses on Pakistan than India by hitting the GHQ, Kamra airbase, naval base and other sensitive places and even martyred a general and a brigadier.

"It appears the government is taking the challenge of terrorism with disinterest and evincing more interest in the trial and security of a former military dictator, forgetting the safety of 180 million people," he noted.

He said the masses had pinned high hopes on the PML-N after it formed the government for the third time but the prime minister was relying on his kitchen cabinet again.Zafarul Haq clarified that there was no kitchen cabinet under the prime minister.

The senator called for restoration of a package the previous government had given to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata in view of the bad economic situation there because of terrorism.

On a point of order, PPPP Senator Khalida Parveen, who had raised the issue of an acute water shortage in Cholistan, resulting in deaths of livestock, again reminded the government that a tap water project was nearing completion but work had halted on the project. Zaheeruddin Babar Awan raised the issue of unavailability of gas in Rawalpindi and Islamabad in bone-chilling weather and called it an atrocious violation of Article 4 of the Constitution.

End.

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