PPP MNA admits rift in party over karo-kari -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PPP MNA admits rift in party over karo-kari

ISLAMABAD- Chief whip of People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPP) MNA Syed Khursheed Shah has admitted that there are differences within the party over the issue of ‘Karo-kari” (honour killing).

Speaking at “Meet-the-Press” programme of the Rawalpindi- Islamabad Press Club in Islamabad on July 23, Khursheed Shah said such differences on various social issues were part of democracy.

“Yes, it’s true that some senior members of our party thumped desks when PML MNA Salim Jan Mazari spoke in favour of Karo-kari in the assembly,” Mr Shah said when asked whether there were differences within the party over the issue.

He said similar differences were there in the ruling Pakistan Muslim League. He said Gen Musharraf wanted to eliminate Hudood Ordinance, but Prime Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was against any amendment to the law.

He said the issues of Karo-kari and Hudood Ordinance were very sensitive and there was a difference of opinion among the members of the treasury as well as the opposition members.

In response to a question, the PPP MNA denied that his party was in contact with the government. “Even if the government contacts us in future, we will not become a part of it and accept any government office like the Senate chairman or ministry,” he added. The PPP, he said, only wanted free and fair elections.

Mr Shah said at present there was a “democracy-coated dictatorship” in the country. He said Gen Musharraf believed that he would be a weak president without his uniform despite having powers like Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Farooq Leghari.

Mr Shah was of the view that Gen Musharraf could not say that he would not remove his uniform because the Muttahida Majlis-i- Amal (MMA) had violated the agreement. “The promise was with the nation and not with the MMA,” he elaborated.

He said the MMA had completely cooperated with the government on the passage of the 17th constitutional amendment and again in the vote of confidence for Gen Musharraf. He said by abstaining from voting, the MMA had indirectly supported the government.

“If Gen Musharraf does not quit the office of the army chief, the people and political parties will have no option but to come out in streets,” he said. He said several times in the past, the opposition got a chance to create a situation that could have dissolved the assembly.

However, he said, the government must be thankful to the opposition that it did not provide a chance to the people having vested interests to dissolve the assembly.

On the PML-N’s demand to form a judicial commission on Kargil, he said India had also constituted such a commission to find the facts. He said the government was making the whole affair “suspicious” by not forming an inquiry commission on the Kargil debacle.

The PPP leader also criticized the government for changing laws only to benefit certain individuals. He said they changed the Political Parties Order when they wanted to stop Benazir Bhutto from taking part in politics and now when they felt the need, they once again changed the law.

Replying to a question, he said the National Assembly had been told that two plots on Murree Road, Rawalpindi, had been transferred in the name of two directors-general of the Inter- Services Intelligence (ISI).

He said the assembly had not been informed about the names of these generals, who had obtained these plots. He said when politicians obtained some plots, NAB came in action, but nobody could question these “sacred cows.”
Source: Dawn
Date:7/24/2004