Hudood laws’ issue
LAHORE – The PPP-P, which has till today been refusing to go along with the MMA over the Hudood laws’ issue, seems to be softening its stance, as the two have agreed to reach some agreement.
MMA Deputy Secretary-General Liaquat Baloch told Dawn here on Monday that both the MMA and the PPP-P would form a body to amicably settle the issue. The spirit behind the act was to avoid dividing the opposition even if it had to delay taking a final line on their mutual differences until the army-led establishment was removed, he added.
Under the same spirit, he said, Ms Benazir Bhutto had directed her comrades here to withdraw the party’s candidate from Tharparkar in favour of the MMA nominee and in return seek cooperation of the religious alliance for Attock by polls. But emissary Nisar Khuhro did not convey the message to the local leaders, he claimed, quoting PPP MNA from Sindh Khursheed Shah as complaining to other colleagues in parliament.
The MMA leader also claimed that elections to local councils would be announced in February next year. He, however, did not see any possibility of general election in the near future, saying it did not suit the present rulers.
The role of Shaukat Aziz, after taking over as prime minister, would be limited to economic affairs only, the MMA leader claimed, quoting senior leaders of the PML.
He said Mr Aziz would take care of economic affairs and good governance while Chaudhry Shujaat would be responsible for looking after the party, parliament and other political matters in the new set-up.
Answering a question, Mr Baloch said finance minister Shaukat Aziz and commerce minister Humayun Akhtar were representing two different agencies. He said Humayun was dropped for the post of the prime minister when the Chaudhrys and the chief of an agency told Gen Musharraf that contrary to reports of the other agency he did not enjoy support of MPs.
Gen Musharraf then confirmed the reports by directly holding meetings with MPs in parliament, he added. A lobby, Mr Baloch claimed, was however active against prime minister-designate Shaukat Aziz.
He said a political wizard from Lahore, who usually became active during crises, had told him in Islamabad that the president, the chief justice, the attorney-general, the State Bank governor and five corps commanders were Mohajirs and now the office of prime minister was also going to the same community that was hardly four per cent of the total population.
“This system will not work,” the MMA leader quoted him as saying. However, he would not identify the politician.