Powell is coming to roll back our N-programme: Qazi
MULTAN: US Secretary of State Colin Powell is visiting Pakistan with the intention of rolling back the country’s nuclear programme, said Qazi Hussain Ahmad, chief of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA).
While speaking at the press club’s programme, “Gutago” on Monday, he warned that the nation would not let President Pervez Musharraf and the government do this. He said the government should take the nation into confidence about the visit’s purpose.
“We warn the rulers that the nation will not let them roll back the nuclear programme under any circumstances,” Mr Ahmad added.
“General Musharraf should announce his retirement from the Army and should nominate someone to serve as Army chief for the next two or three months,” said Mr Ahmad. He said he was confident that Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain would soon take charge of the government. He said Musharraf has no legal or moral right to interfere into the affairs of the government after the approval of the 17th Amendment.
“We admit the right of the majority party to rule the country. The majority should not be an outcome of horse trading, changing loyalties and induction of turncoats,” he said.
The National Security Council is no longer a part of the Constitution and has an advisory role. There is no political role for the armed forces under the Constitution, he said.
He said small Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy protest camps cannot oust General Pervez Musharraf from power and the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy cannot achieve its objectives without the MMA’s support.
There was no split or differences within the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, he said. “We removed all misunderstandings with Prof Sajid Mir and Maulana Samiul Haq and we have vowed to continue our mission together,” he said.
Mr Ahmed added that protests would continue against the military operation in Wana in South Waziristan, raids of religious seminaries and the arrest of nuclear scientists and technologists. The arrest of the scientists had badly discouraged younger scientists who were studying nuclear technology, Many were now thinking of going into other fields, he said. He said the government wanted to keep the youth from jihad, Islamic ideology and Pakistani ideology by giving them a secular education.
Poor students cannot attain an education at Agha Khan University and the door of higher education will be shut to the poor if education is privatised, he said.
It was a pity that Education Minister Zubaida Jalal is in the prime minister’s cabinet, but submits her report to the president, he said. This means the prime minister is bypassed and not aware of changes in the academic system, he said.
We do not oppose supplying computers to religious seminaries, but we oppose any restrictions on these institutions. Five wifaqs of religious institutions have rejected government aid, he said.