Nisar willing to name names in nuclear row
* Asks government to form committee
By Shaukat Piracha and Shahzad Raza
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Monday that he was ready to expose the people involved in nuclear proliferation if the government or the NA speaker formed a committee for that purpose.
“I don’t want to open Pandora’s box here,” Mr Khan said while debating President Musharraf’s address to parliament.
He told the house that Pakistan had always been pressurised because of its policy on Kashmir, Afghanistan and the nuclear issue.
Mr Khan said the US president had telephoned prime minister Nawaz Sharif five times to stop Pakistan from testing nuclear weapons. “Mr Sharif was offered a bribe and threatened but he did not budge.” The PML-N leader blamed the generals for the country’s woes. He said the four points President Musharraf highlighted in his address represented the agenda of foreign powers. “Pakistan’s problem is the restoration of the 1973 Constitution and the welfare of the people,” he said.
Blaming the army for the conflict on Kargil, he asked why had the general taken a u-turn on the Kashmir policy. “We want peace with India but not at the cost of our dignity,” he said. Involving the army in civilian affairs would only aggravate the situation, the PML-N leader added. The PML-N leader said the country did not have a constitutionally elected president.
Criticising the speaker’s ruling that a general could become the president of Pakistan, he said no public servant could hold the office of the president. He said wrongdoings by earlier military rulers could not serve as precedents for a fresh military coup. The opposition would never accept General Musharraf as the president. Mr Khan said the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had a political agenda. He said the opposition was ready to cooperate with the government if Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali acted sincerely to restore parliament’s supremacy and safeguard national interests.
Syed Riaz Hussain Pirzada of the National Alliance said the justice system had failed to deliver. He said the Punjab Board of Revenue had become a den of corruption. Mr Pirzada also said that Shias were being victimised in Pakistan and asked the president to protect them. He said the religious leaders opposing the United States had accepted money from the US in the past.
Nawab Yousaf Talpur of the PPPP said prices of everyday provisions had escalated in the country. “Flour is being sold at the Rs 20 per kg, while during the Benazir Bhutto government it was Rs 4.80 kg per kg,” he said. He criticised the recruitment of retired and serving army officers against civilian posts.
Ghafoor Haideri of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal accused President Musharraf and other army generals of corruption.
He said the Muslim League had always supported generals. Abid Sher Ali of the PML-N reminded Mr Haideri that the MMA had collaborated with the government to pass the 17th Constitutional Amendment. Salim Jan Mazari of the NA criticised clerics for inciting youth to go to Afghanistan for jihad against the United States. He supported the government’s policy of a dialogue on Kashmir and said Pakistan and India could not solve their issues through wars. The house was adjourned till today (Tuesday).