PPP holds Shahbaz Sharif responsible for riots
18 June, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the prime minister on interior, Rehman Malik, on Monday said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was responsible for disorder in Punjab.
Malik warned that a first information report (FIR) would be registered against Shahbaz if something bad happened to any Pakistan People's Party lawmaker in Punjab.
Taking notice of incidents of damaging national assets and attacks on residences of PPP legislators, Malik said the Punjab government had failed to provide protection. He said it was the provincial government, especially the chief minister's responsibility to provide protection to citizens, but Shahbaz had failed to deliver in an efficient manner.
At a time when the country was facing the worst power outages, the federal government and the Punjab government have engaged in a fresh episode of allegations and counter-allegations. The PPP-led federal government put the blame on the PML-N-led Punjab government for taking the people to streets and inciting them to damage public and private properties.
On the other hand, PML-N leaders accused the federal government of playing a blame game rather than fixing the crisis that has multiplied the people's problems especially in its stronghold Punjab. Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira blamed the Punjab government for inciting the people against the federation, adding that the rulers of the province were personally responsible for the loss of life and damage to public and PPP leaders and workers' property. He was talking to reporters at the Faisal Mosque after attending funeral prayers in absentia for Saudi crown prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
Kaira confessed that power outages in the last couple of days had increased, adding that it was no justification for attacking public and the PPP leaders' properties. He said that all provinces were facing the power crisis, but violent protest demonstrations were being held in Punjab alone.
"The police have become a silent spectator and the provincial rulers and administration are not only part of the protest but they are instigating the people," he said. Kaira said Punjab had a potential to produce 800 megawatts (MW) through hydropower projects, adding that the province had not produced a single megawatt so far.