LAHORE: A day after the spokespersons of every major political party called for a judicial investigation into the explosive allegations leveled by former Sindh senior minister Zulfiqar Mirza, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and National Assembly Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also chimed in, saying that they think it would be a good idea too.
Both gentlemen belong to the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), whose spokesperson Senator Mushahidullah Khan had already endorsed the idea of an investigation into the damning allegations levelled by Mirza against Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
“If these accusations are true then the criminals should be punished,” said Shahbaz Sharif while speaking during the balloting ceremony of his signature Yellow Cab employment scheme in Dera Ghazi Khan.
Sharif called for the Supreme Court to investigate the allegations.
Chaudhry Nisar seconded Sharif’s call but then went one step further and called for a session of parliament immediately after Eid to discuss the situation in Karachi and solicit testimony on the matter from the nation’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies.
“The most unfortunate thing is that the people of Karachi must bear the brunt of the political infighting,” said Nisar in a statement released to the press on Monday.
The PML-N, the largest opposition party in parliament and the ruling PPP’s biggest rival, has chosen to focus on the allegations levelled by Mirza against the interior minister, since those most closely align with the party’s current stance that the PPP-led coalition is inept and corrupt.
Even as Mirza and Malik appeared to have a very public falling out, the PML-N continued to refer to both as loyalists of President Asif Ali Zardari and placed the blame for much of the political discord at the feet of the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
“Since both Mirza and Malik are cronies of President Asif Zardari, the real fault line is in the presidency,” Senator Mushahidullah told The Express Tribune on Sunday.
The PPP is expecting the PML-N to begin an earnest campaign soon after Eid to try to unseat the Gilani administration. Sources close to the PPP leadership say that the ruling party expects the PML-N to resign from the National Assembly in either September or October.
Rhetoric between the two political parties has grown more heated in recent months as the PPP has openly pandered to the PML-N’s stronghold in Punjab, seeking to undermine their base. For its part, the PML-N has begun activities that suggest that it does not plan on letting the government finish its term without a fight.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2011.