LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: Former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday criticised the government’s handling of the Abbottabad Operation and demanded the resignation of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.
Qureshi, who is a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Central Executive Committee, termed the United States raid ‘unprovoked aggression’ and said that Zardari should have addressed the nation during the time of crisis, but instead he chose to write an opinion piece in a foreign newspaper.
He asked party leaders to convene the CEC meeting to give an explanation as to what had happened in Abbottabad and said that he will ask both Zardari and Gilani to step down in that meeting.
The former foreign minister urged the prime minister to summon a meeting of the Parliamentary Defence Body and called on top officials to go public with details of the operation.
Qureshi, who was Foreign Minister before a cabinet reshuffle, was dropped out of the newly appointed cabinet “over his divergent opinion on the Raymond Davis issue”.
Resignation calls from the opposition
Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Saturday said that those responsible for negligence in the Abbottabad raid should resign.
Speaking to the media in Lahore, Nisar said that all law enforcement agencies and security departments were responsible for intelligence failure which led to Osama bin Laden’s presence in Abbottabad.
“The operation tramples on our honour and dignity, and the president and prime minister must either give an explanation or resign,” Chaudhry Nisar Ali told reporters.
“The government is keeping silent and there appears to be nobody to respond to propaganda against Pakistan,” he added, saying that people in the country were feeling “insecure” after the covert US mission.
“Those who are responsible must admit and quit,” said Ali.
He also criticised the country’s powerful intelligence agencies, saying that Pakistani institutions had “deviated from their real role”.
Nisar said that a meeting of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) was scheduled to be held on May 10 and all aspects regarding the Bin Laden raid would be discussed in the meeting.
Nawaz Sharif back in Pakistan
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan after a successful heart surgery in London.
He has returned after spending two months in Britain for treatment. Doctors had advised Nawaz Sharif to limit his political activities after the heart surgery.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, former President Rafique Tarar, MNA Hamza Shahbaz and other party leaders received Sharif at the Lahore airport.
He is expected to chair the May 10 party meeting.