PPP to launch protest campaign over LHC ruling

The PPP condemns Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with separatists. These separatists have run movements against the federation.

Express May 18, 2011


The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Punjab decided at its executive committee meeting on Thursday to launch a campaign of rallies and seminars to protest the Lahore High Court’s (LHC) ruling on the president’s two offices case.

The committee passed a resolution expressing support for President Asif Zardari and his right to stay involved in party politics, as well as a resolution condemning the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s recent statements about the army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

The PPP will start holding rallies at every divisional headquarters and seminars at big cities from May 19 in support of the president, said PPP Punjab president Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, who presided over the meeting. He said that there would be a seminar in Lahore on May 23.

Warraich said the LHC ruling restrained Zardari, who is also co-chairman of the PPP, from participating in politics. “The LHC’s ruling is a conspiracy against our leadership by the same forces that hatched a conspiracy against our founder Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” he said.

He said that the PPP would garner public support to foil the “conspiracy”. He said Zardari had spent 11 years in jail, Benazir Bhutto had been imprisoned and exiled, while ZA Bhutto had been hanged, but the PPP continued to enjoy public support. “Zardari has been elected president through the votes of political representatives from across the country. How can the courts ask him to stop his political activities?”

Warraich said that the party would appeal in the Supreme Court against the LHC ruling. He said that the courts had validated the dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf when he dissolved the assemblies. “It is strange that a dictator’s actions have been validated while a democratic leader’s legal actions have been ruled against,” he said.

The second resolution passed at the meeting condemned PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif’s statements after the May 2 killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces. Warraich said that Sharif should have respected the joint resolution of parliament on the May 2 incident, but instead he started criticising the army. “Did American politicians criticise their army after 9/11, or Indian politicians after the Mumbai attacks, like Nawaz Sharif has been doing in Pakistan?”

He said that Sharif’s demands that those judges who validated Musharraf’s coup in 1999 be tried was “ridiculous”. He said that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was among those judges.

Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Raja Riaz said that it was sad that Sharif, a national level leader, had talked with Sindhi nationalists like Rasool Buskh Palejo and Qadir Magsi who had often championed separation from the country.

“The PPP condemns Nawaz Sharif’s meeting with separatists. These separatists have run movements against the federation, though they have never won even a councillor’s seat,” he said.

Riaz said that Sharif’s statement that Raymond Davis had been released with the support of President Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was totally wrong. “Davis was in a prison controlled by the Punjab government so the Punjab Police and Punjab chief minister must have supported his release,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2011.


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