Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon criticised the higher judiciary and the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) at a press conference on Sunday.
“The Supreme Court (SC) took suo motu notice in Sarfraz Shah’s case but the same authority was not exercised when former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer was murdered,” he said. “The SC removed the Sindh IG and DG Rangers from their posts ... but in Taseer’s case not even a police SP rank officer was troubled.”
Memon said he was not afraid of facing the court again since the SC gave him contempt notices for protesting against its judgment on the appointment of former National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, Deedar Hussain Shah. “I am a political worker who has been trained by leaders who faced fake cases throughout their political careers.”
He said Shahbaz Sharif’s government was still underpinned by an SC stay order given in 2009. “A stay order is valid only for six months. Therefore, Sharif’s continuity in office raises many questions on the judiciary’s neutrality.”
He criticised the PML-N for reverting to the “vindictive politics of the 1990s”, alleging that the party is renewing its links with extremist groups. “It is the same political party which was funded by Osama bin Laden and people have not forgotten the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad either,” he claimed, adding, “People remember that Shahbaz Sharif was the one who had appealed to the Taliban to spare his province from terrorist attacks.”
The information minister also spoke about the killings of journalists, saying that the verdict is in the judiciary’s hands. “The commission probing the murder of Saleem Shahzad is led by an SC judge, while the suspected killers of Babar Wali Khan have been arrested. It’s up to the court to convict or acquit them.”
On the law and order situation in Karachi, Memon felt the city was in “better control” under Zulfiqar Mirza, who “deputed officers on merit and clamped down on criminal elements”. Mirza’s second leave application will lapse in the first week of July but Memon did not say if Mirza will go back to working as home minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2011.
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