Musharraf’s ‘friends’ sabotaged deal with PML-QA: MMA leader
LAHORE: A member of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) on Sunday told Daily Times the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) had promised the MMA in December 2002 that the disputes over the Legal Framework Order (LFO) and president’s uniform would be solved within the year.
He said the ruling party would have fulfilled its promise but some “close friends” of President Pervez Musharraf “took the matter in their own hands”. Allama Jallil Naqvi, a leader of the Tehrik-e-Islam and the MMA, also confirmed the reports about the consensus between PML-Q and the MMA and the involvement of the president’s friends. He said PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain had made a lot of “promises” but most of them were yet to be fulfilled. He said Chaudhry Shujaat “is not that powerful” and he did not have the authority to take decisions regarding “such sensitive issues”. “There are other personalities who play an important role behind the scenes and Gen Musharraf has authorised them to make commitments with us,” he said.
He refused to disclose the identities of the friends of the president, who he said were also close to people “who mattered” in intelligence agencies. He said these people acted as a “bridge” between the president and the MMA.
Mr Naqvi said “these personalities” had told the MMA that Chaudhry Shujaat was “not in a position to convince the president”. He said the disputes over Article 58(2)(b) and the National Security Council (NSC) “would be resolved according to the MMA’s wishes”, but the question about the president’s uniform remained the bone of contention. He said these “personalities” were actively participating in the talks between the government and the opposition but preferred to remain behind the scenes. Another MMA leader told Daily Times on condition of anonymity that the PML-Q and the MMA had agreed on eight points of cooperation during a meeting in December last year. It was agreed that:
1. The MMA would form the government with the PML-Q in Balochistan and would get 60 percent of the ministries in the province.
2. All JUI (F) members in custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) would be released.
3. The federal government would not try to destabilise or interfere in the working of the MMA government in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).
4. The LFO dispute would be resolved within the year (2002) and would be presented in the parliament for debate.
5. General Musharraf would be accepted as the president and he would quit as the COAS within the year.
6. The NSC structure would be revised and Article 58(2) b and other discriminatory powers of the president would also be reconsidered.
7. The MMA would not move or support a no-confidence motion against the prime minister.
8. The Opposition leader would belong to the PML (Q) and would help to “adjust” three candidates of the MMA during the Senate elections. —Amir Rana