KARACHI: As Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has wound up his speech on the Money Bill on Tuesday, the only important business left for the government and the opposition now is to announce a caretaker set-up to hold the upcoming general elections.
The Pakistan Peoples Party discussed the caretaker set-up issue as well as the controversy arisen out of a statement of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif regarding the Mumbai attacks in a meeting held at the Bilawal House.
The meeting was jointly chaired by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.
Sources said Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah briefed the meeting about his meetings with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over the issue of finalising the names for the caretaker prime minister.
The prime minister and the opposition leader had already held two or three formal meetings on the issue, but each time they claimed before the media that they had not discussed or exchanged the names so far.
“The PPP has finalised three names that will be presented to the prime minister soon,” the sources said.
Despite repeated attempts no one in the PPP was willing to share the details of the proposed names.
However, a senior PPP leader said, “The party leadership has asked Khursheed Shah to once again approach opposition parties and get their consent on the proposed names,” adding, “After the final round of talks with the opposition parties, the names can be disclosed.”
Meanwhile, the PPP in a statement issued after the meeting criticised Sharif’s remarks about the Mumbai attack and said, “He [Nawaz] as prime minister held Pakistan diplomatically incommunicado by not appointing a full-fledged foreign minister for four years.”
“Pakistan’s strong narrative could not find space in the world capitals due to the flopped foreign policy of Nawaz Sharif and his government,” the statement added.
The meeting discussed in details the current political situation in the country, Palestinians massacre and legislation about Fata merger with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
The PPP meeting strongly condemned the massacre of Palestinians at the hands of Israeli forces and asked the international community to raise voice against the Israeli atrocities on unarmed Palestinians.
PPP leadership also directed party senators and MNAs to actively participate in the upcoming legislation for extending constitutional rights of Fata and its merger with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Central Information Secretary of Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Taj Haider said that the statement of Nawaz Sharif on the Mumbai attacks “is a big support to Narendra Modi in the general elections in India”.
“It also provides Mr. Modi with an ample justification to continue barbaric suppression of freedom lovers in Kashmir.”
The senator said that this statement would also weaken our just stand on agitating against terrorist activities inside our country sponsored by other countries.
“Activities of spies like Commander Jadhav of Indian Navy can now be covered up as a retaliation of the Mumbai attacks.”
“The links of Mian Sahib with religious extremist groups are well known. In 2013 elections, the Taliban did not allow the PPP and two other political parties to even run their election campaign,” he said.
“Both Mian Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan, who were freely running their campaigns, did not even care to condemn the Taliban for making the election campaign one sided.”
Haider said that extremists share common goals irrespective of their different religions. “Their politics is based on emotionalism. They oppose rationalism. They exploit the youth of the poor classes to increase their strength. All of them are supporters of monopoly capitalism. Capital does not recognize international borders, political differences or human rights of the common man.”
He said that even if the comments of Mian Sahib were unintentional, the damage to Pakistan has been done and it will take immense diplomatic efforts to undo this damage.
“The armed forces are valiantly fighting against extremism and terrorism,” he said and added, “They are uprooting terrorist bases in Pakistan and ensuring that the land of our country is not used for launching terrorist attacks in neighboring countries.”
“Launching attacks on the national defense forces, and weakening their position indirectly only helps the extremist and terrorist organisations,” he said.