Hashmi asks Nawaz, Shahbaz to apologise
22 April, 2011
ISLAMABAD: Prominent PML-N leader, Javed Hashmi, on Thursday slammed his own party leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, asking them to apologise to the nation for abandoning Pakistan for 10 years.
Hashmi, during his speech on the presidential address in the National Assembly, himself sought an apology from the people for joining the Ziaul Haq cabinet in the late 70s. He asked that Nawaz Sharif, President Asif Ali Zardari, and Shahbaz Sharif must also seek an apology from the nation for supporting successive dictatorships.
“It was a mistake that I joined the Ziaul Haq cabinet and I apologise to the nation for committing this sin, despite the advise of my own father,” he said amid loud desk thumping from the treasury benches.
Taking a dig at Nawaz Sharif, he said how would Lahore solve the problems of far-flung areas of Punjab when it could not resolve its own problems. “If you spend Rs10 billion on Raiwind Road, people in other areas will certainly object.”
Hashmi said one chief minister, inspector general of police and chief secretary were looking after the 100 million people of Punjab and that it was next to impossible to serve so many people. He said power should be decentralised at the district level and the IGP and chief secretary should also be answerable to the district assembly.
Speaking on the issue of new provinces, Hashmi said, “Punjab is dear to us but Pakistan is dearer to us than Punjab”. He said two more provinces from Punjab, Saraiki and Bhawalpur, and Hazara from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, should be carved out. He pointed out that the PML-N was the only party that objected to additional provinces since the PPP and Asfandyar Wali had no objections.
He said the country needs more provinces, which should be made under the present assemblies rather than by the next parliament. “If we did not take an urgent decision on the creation of new provinces, the future map of Pakistan could be different from the present one,” he said.
In his speech on Thursday Hashmi also appealed to politicians to bring back to Pakistan the money stashed in their foreign accounts. “If anyone wants to become a leader he should not keep money outside Pakistan,” he said. “If he wants to keep money in foreign countries he should not get into politics. The nation needs leaders ready to make scarifies for the country.”
Javed Hashmi was also critical of President Zardari’s style of politics. He said one needed to be at least a PhD in politics to understand the politics of Asif Ali Zardari. “I have learnt a lot from the politics of Z A Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, but I have to admit I could never understand the strange style of Asif Ali Zardari,” he said.
Talking about dialogue between the PPP and PML-N, he said he was not privy to details since his party leadership had excluded him from the process because he had warned his leaders that they would never understand Zardari’s politics.
Hashmi also came down hard on the allegations of corruption against politicians saying that a report was presented in the National assembly during the Musharraf regime in which generals topped the list of the corrupt, followed by bureaucrats and then politicians.
Paying tribute to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he said that the country had produced no leader like him. “Great injustice was done to both him and Benazir Bhutto,” he said, adding he had only wept thrice in his life: twice on the death of his parents and the third time on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
He also demanded a constitutional amendment to give a senator the right to become prime minister, as is the practice in India. Hashmi has been described as a ‘brave man,’ by foes and friends alike, for his political role during Musharraf’s dictatorship and for his principled stance in politics. He refused to take oath as minister from General Musharraf when the PPP and PML-N entered into a coalition in March 2008. Despite pressure from his party, he made it clear he would rather die than take oath of office before General Musharraf.