On the inside: ‘Where there is smoke there is fire’

Published: September 30, 2011


Among the participants of the All Parties Conference (APC), some leaders, including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif, questioned the military authorities and asked them to explain the exact security situation of the country vis-à-vis recent American allegations.

“Where there is smoke there is fire,” Nawaz Sharif was quoted by some participants as saying while asking Inter-Services Intelligence chief Shuja Pasha for a detailed explanation.

(Read: All Parties Conference – PML-N comes to the party)

The situation is said to have prompted Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to intervene and assure the PML-N: ‘we will respond to all of your queries’.

Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao proposed that a ‘mechanism’ has to be developed in order to pursue the “peace and reconciliation” with all elements, ostensibly even militants, endeavoured for in the joint resolution. Sherpao, chief of his own political faction known as Pakistan Peoples Party-Sherpao welcomed the initiative saying that the resolution adopted during the APC would “add a new chapter” in our history. “The leadership of the country has shown unity and underlined the need to lead the country towards peace,” he added.

“Every leader expressed his point of view, which has been translated into the resolution,” he added.

He said that there should be people-to-people contacts with Afghanistan, which should run parallel to government-to-government contacts.

While responding to a question regarding implementation of the resolution, he said that, for that purpose, a parliamentary committee would be constituted to monitor progress, since leaders had expressed their reservations on this account.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan had shown resentment over continuous use of the military option without taking any political initiative.

After the meeting, Maulana Samiul Haq said that the political leadership of the country had rejected allegations of the US. He said that the leaders of the country had “put their weight behind the army”.

Haider Abbas Rizvi of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) said that, during the course of the meeting, the internal situation of the country was thoroughly discussed.

“In order to have a firm foreign policy a strong internal policy is needed,” he said.

Rizvi said that it has been decided that we will overcome our shortcomings and peace and reconciliation would be pursued with all the stakeholders. Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of JUI-F welcomed the initiative saying “it (the resolution) would give a strong message to the world.”

However, he added a stern warning: “If this resolution is not implemented again, then no one would be able to stop a revolution in this country.”

(Read: What the APC should say)

Syed Munawar Hassan of Jamaat-e-Islami also welcomed the initiative.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Imran
    Sep 30, 2011 - 6:47AM

    Although I don’t like Nawaz Sharif, only saner voice seems to be his, in addition to Mahmood Achakzai’s.


  • syed Imran
    Sep 30, 2011 - 6:56AM

    Where there is smoke there is fire> Nawaz Sharif. How about your cortrtuption stories . Where that smoke leads to. Please return taxpayers 21 billions which you got written off


  • Mirza
    Sep 30, 2011 - 6:58AM

    For mullah/military alliance it is their moment in the sun. However, it is not going to last for long. Pakistan army/ISI is used to billions of $US each year and cannot live without that. All this gathering is for more money with less oversight to continue with the luxurious lifestyle. People of Pakistan are used to the hollow slogans and not the real benefits of foreign aid, as usual would get nothing. However, they may be hungry, sick or uneducated but made to feel happy and proud.


  • Ashraf P
    Sep 30, 2011 - 7:11AM

    “Where there is smoke there is fire…”
    Finally Mr.Sharif is coming closer to reality. While everybody was critical of the Americans, nobody dared to ask the question whether the ISI had anything to do with the attack on the US embassy. I am glad Mr.Sharif has chosen the path of introspection. It is the only way to root out the cancer in Pakistan.


  • murtaza khwaja
    Sep 30, 2011 - 7:16AM

    Good on Imran!Recommend

  • AnisAqeel
    Sep 30, 2011 - 7:23AM

    United, at least on something and now is the time to push for taking political decisions by the civilian Government instead of getting dictation from the military. Unless rule of law is established, we are nowhere and our military must realize that they must come with terms within the constitution and leave foreign and internal policy to the people who are supposed to handle. Miscalculated adventurism has brought us where we are now and is high time to leave this policy behind and abide by the rules.


  • jan
    Sep 30, 2011 - 7:40AM

    Make him the PM of Pakistan. Then there will be no smoke and no fire.


  • Pundit
    Sep 30, 2011 - 8:27AM

    None of the Patriotic Pakistani Political Parties even paid lip service to the Flood Victims in Pakistan and its the war against poverty., poor health and poor education that Paksitan has to fight.

  • Mahesh Patil
    Sep 30, 2011 - 8:53AM

    I endorse Mr.Mirza’s comment.Hope Pakistan Military top brass reads his opinion.I do not understand why military is given so much of importance in Pakistan.It is elected political leaders should take decision and armed forces must obey. How ridiculous its looks other wise.


  • Pundit
    Sep 30, 2011 - 10:14AM



  • Pundit
    Sep 30, 2011 - 10:37AM

    A woman bought new flashy bangles and expected all her neighborhood to shower praise…sadly no one did.

    In desperation she burnt her house and started weeping…when a neighbor saw her and said of I see u hv new bangles.

    The woman immediately shouted” u mean neighbor if u would have said that earlier my house would not have burnt”

    Something similar in daily protestation from Pakistan asking the world to recognize her contribution in the war against terrorism.

    Sadly the world, like the woman’s neighbor pays no attention.


  • riz
    Sep 30, 2011 - 10:55AM

    finally positivity has started to come out from political parties, army must realize their importance and must consult them b4 any adventure—— such gathering are also need of hours to tackly ecnomic challenges!


  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Sep 30, 2011 - 11:13AM

    Now who will determine from where the smoke and fire is coming ???? I agree with Mr. Nawaz Sharif and Mr.Mahmood Achakzai who were brave enough to ask these questions which others failed to do. All others simply toed the dotted lines of our ever ready rulers on one pretext or the other. We have to accept our failures to satisfy the whole world and most importantly our neighbors. Why we are not prepared to give any ear to the call of international community????? The main sufferers will only be you and me and not these opportunists.


  • Javed
    Sep 30, 2011 - 11:41AM

    Welcome to pre-Swat days. Everyone followed the Army’s thought process without questioning them seriously enough while the Right wing parties came out beaming. We won’t be able to push back the TTP this time around.


  • Lobster
    Sep 30, 2011 - 3:07PM

    @syed Imran:
    Tax theft is one thing, killing the people is another. I admire him for his clear and bold stance. Though I still think IK is best! Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Sep 30, 2011 - 4:32PM

    Is there any solid outcome out of this APC?
    Same old stories of “committments to solidarity”, etc.
    Pakistan really needs a dynamic, honest and sincere leadership. It is time for old timers to retire, repent for their wrong doings, bring their wealth back from foreign countries, and live with the people of Pakistan..


  • Pundit
    Sep 30, 2011 - 5:06PM

    I am so disappointed with TET.

    Nowhere did i find the words ” righteous indignation” anywhere in the reporting, though Pakistan is full of it!


  • meekal ahmed
    Sep 30, 2011 - 5:27PM

    Wonder how much this cost.


  • Cautious
    Sep 30, 2011 - 5:57PM

    The situation is said to have prompted
    Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq
    Parvez Kayani to intervene and assure
    the PML-N: ‘we will respond to all of
    your queries’.

    That’s a polite way of not responding to Sharif’s question asking the ISI “Where there is smoke there is fire,” I suspect most of the World would have like to hear a direct response from the ISI on this matter rather than Kayani running interference/distraction.


  • Romm
    Sep 30, 2011 - 6:31PM

    indies need to read Dead Men talking by Ms Roy. indians will keep mourning and we shall keep moving ahead.Recommend

  • Sameer Khan
    Sep 30, 2011 - 9:24PM

    It was a good opportunity for all the parties not to discuss the issues of Pakistan but bridge their differences. We should not repeat the mistakes of Past for this country can not afford any serious mistake. The time of Political point scoring is over. However it is unfortunate that Imran Khan adopted a very irrational approach to remain distinguished but such asinine moves do not make a politician distinguished rather fades his image in public. Similarly Mian Nawaz Sharif once again alleged military by quoting “Where there is fire there is smoke”. It is not time to blame each other or scoring political point. Mian Nawaz Sharif should not forget the time of his meeting with Osama Bin Laden. We should at once abandon partisan interests and blame game. Government has created a golden opportunity for all the parties to play their role in strengthening Pakistan for this country is not because of us but we are because of this country.


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