Lawyers’ march okay if peace not disrupted: Taseer
* Punjab governor says no need for army in the province
KARACHI: Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer has said that a lawyers’ march scheduled for March 9 is their democratic right and he would not obstruct the demonstration -- but nobody would be allowed to disrupt law and order in Punjab.
Taseer made the comments at a press conference at the Sindh Chief Minister’s House, after a meeting with Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah. “They (the lawyers and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) can proceed with the march, but they will not be allowed to create a law and order situation,” said Taseer.
He said that there would be no need to deploy the army in Punjab. He also rejected the possibility of imposition of a martial law in the country. Without naming the PML-N, he said he had no personal enmity or family dispute and understood that demonstrations were part of politics. He said the Punjab government had even utilised state resources when sacked chief justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry visited the province.
Taseer said he had been trying to ensure the smooth functioning of the coalition government in Punjab, but “no coalition government actually exists there, as only the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is making efforts”.
He said that he did not want a confrontation with the provincial government, and had always tried to play his constitutional role. Raising questions over the PML-N’s governance in Punjab, he said the approach towards the formation of the cabinet – which is still in process – the failure to form the Public Accounts Committee and the fact that the health and education ministers had not yet been appointed were testament to the government’s performance. Taseer claimed that he had repeatedly pointed out this inefficacy, and also reminded Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif that the masses had not brought his party into power to run the province through task forces and bureaucratic moves. Replying to a question, the Punjab governor said the PPP did not believe in politics of revenge, and no action would therefore be taken against former president Pervez Musharraf. Taseer said a recent meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari was a routine matter.