Karachi violence: ‘Government should have briefed parliament’

PML-N president asks for executive to take stronger stance.


Express September 24, 2011

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N)’s President Nawaz Sharif has said that the federal government should have briefed parliament on the law and order situation in Karachi.

Referring to the ISI’s in-camera briefing to the Supreme Court (SC) on violence in the city, Sharif said that the executive is shirking its responsibilities, leading to the judiciary taking suo motu action. He added that the horrific and terrible revelations made in the SC should be made public.

The comments came on Friday during a busy day for Sharif. He visited the Sharif Medical Complex where he met dengue patients, was briefed on the virus by King Edward Medical University’s Vice Chancellor Dr Asad Aslam, and condoled with Punjab Minister Malik Nadeem Kamran after the death of his father.

Sharif told the media it was good sign the ISI had briefed the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhy on the Karachi situation, as the faces behind recent violence could be unearthed. However he insisted this was the government’s duty, saying the executive should have briefed parliament, or at least a select committee, with the participation of all parliamentary leaders.

He said parliament should identify the perpetrators of the unrest in Karachi so that the nation knows the real faces of those behind the violence. He added that journalists, particularly those in Karachi, should be aware of the real culprits. Consequently those parties who are found to have active military wings should be barred from contesting general elections, Sharif said.

Urges Sindhi politicians to concentrate on flood-relief

Sharif also responded to criticism of his visit to flood-affected areas in Sindh, urging the province’s politicians to instead concentrate their efforts on flood relief.

After Sindh Information minister Sherjeel Memon’s statements against his visit, Sharif reminded those responsible for implementing relief efforts that people in flood-hit areas are still waiting for the government to help them.

Sharif offered some observations on his trip to Sindh. He said that the quality of life of much of the province’s inhabitants has not improved since the birth of the country in 1947. He said it was an alarming situation that some parts of the country are very much part of the 21st century while others seem to be stuck in the stone age.

Indonesia will send experts and machines to Punjab

On dengue fever, Shaif said that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is utilising all available human resources to cope with the outbreak. He said that the Sharif Medical Complex is treating dengue patients freely while other institutions are charging fees around Rs2,000.

Sharif said that the government is importing medicines and machines and has even called foreign experts to Lahore. On the request of the Pakistan government, the President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has given immediate instruction to dispatch medical experts to assist with controlling dengue fever in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani directed the Indonesians to set up base in Lahore, as dengue cases are highest there. The Indonesian team, due to arrive next week, will comprise 19 medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, lab analysts, epidemiologists and entomologists.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th,  2011.

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