KARACHI: Leaders from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) remembered the day when Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test and vowed that once Nawaz Sharif regained power, there would be more powerful explosions.
A seminar titled ‘Youm-e-Takbeer’ was organised on Sunday at the Karachi Press Club to pay tribute to the day when the country became an atomic power. “There will be an economic explosion which will take the country towards prosperity,” said Nehal Hashmi, the Karachi president of the party. He welcomed 30 youngsters to the party and said that it had always encouraged the youth to take part in politics.
PML-N leader and former Sindh governor, Mamnoon Hussain, said that the nuclear tests had shown the world that Pakistan is capable of defending itself against its enemies. “They also paved the way for foreign countries to invest here as the tests indicated that the country could take care of itself.” He said that Pakistan was the first Muslim country to have atomic weapons and by conducting the tests, it had silenced Indian leaders.
Other leaders said that Pakistan did not succumb to pressure from other countries to stop the tests and carried on. The district south president of PML-N, Bahadur Khan, said that former US President Bill Clinton called Sharif thrice to stop him, but he did not give in. “And then look at Musharraf, who agreed to take part in the war on terror on a single phone call.” The general secretary east of PML-N, Nisar Shah, believed that every government should give a public holiday on May 28 and that the day should be celebrated.
Leaders from other political parties also spoke on the occasion. Shakeel Qadri of the Sunni Tehreek seemed concerned at the ‘internal threats’ which the country is facing.
He felt that the country was undergoing moral degradation and that something should be done about this. Instead of praising nuclear capability, Qadri chose a different line by stating that an atom bomb cannot supply food or water to the country. “We need to do something about corruption as well as inflation, which is making people commit suicide or forcing them to sell their children.”
The Karachi chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Mohammad Hussain Mehanti, said that the country was being torn apart by ethnic tensions and he called for greater unity. He said that decisions regarding the country should be taken in Pakistan itself and not at meetings in Chicago. “Right now the issue of Balochistan should be the top priority and the grievances of people should be addressed immediately.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 29th, 2012.