Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has opposed the army’s intervention.
“Elements calling for handing over Karachi to army are not well-wishers of (the armed) forces, because it would be a disastrous move,” he said.
The statement coincides with the government’s point of view that handing over of Karachi to the army was not “a lasting solution”.
However, Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani had recently said the army was ready to launch an operation in the financial hub of the country on government orders.
Chaudhry Nisar said that the army deployment in Karachi could temporarily put an end to violence in the Sindh metropolis but the move would entail dire consequence for the institution itself.
Expressing apprehensions on the move, he said that if deployed in Karachi, the army might find itself trapped in a blind alley.
The leader of the opposition, however, underlined the need for holding a debate in parliament over the subject of army deployment in Karachi.
“The PML-N is also contemplating requisitioning a National Assembly session on the Karachi situation,” he said.
Censuring the government for its reluctance in giving a free hand to civil law enforcing agencies, he said that the provincial administration was equally responsible for unabated violence.
The leader of the opposition in the National Assembly also demanded that Rangers and Police should be given a free hand so that these institutions could take effective action against criminals without any fear and favour.
He said that there were political and administrative reasons for the Karachi situation, adding that coalition partners were backing their respective militant wings in the city.
He said that the duplicity of all political stakeholders in the government had made governance a joke, making the lives of the people of Karachi miserable.
“The hypocrisy of coalition partners, to say one thing publicly and another behind closed doors meetings, has amplified the violence in the city,” Nisar said.
Lashing out against the rulers for their inability to cope with the Karachi situation, he said that it was strange that President Asif Zardari had gone abroad while Karachi was burning and Sindh
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2011.