PML-N still undecided on Gen Kayani’s extension

Published: July 25, 2010
Ahsan Iqbal says Nawaz Sharif was not consulted by PM on the move

Ahsan Iqbal says Nawaz Sharif was not consulted by PM on the move

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is still in a “mysterious” state of indecision over whether it should support or oppose a government move to extend the tenure of army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

And the most “intriguing” part is that the largest opposition group is also unsure about how much more time it needs to frame an official response to one of the crucial political decisions.

Three days after Gen Kayani was given an extension in service, a spokesperson for the party appeared before the media but parried all questions about the party’s official reaction.

“Nawaz Sharif is out of the country…we will let you know about our reaction when he comes back,” the party’s information secretary, Ahsan Iqbal, told a news conference on Saturday. However, he did not say when Sharif planned to return from London.

And when journalists continued to press him for his personal opinion on the move, he said: “Well, if I say something about my own thinking without consulting my party leadership…it will be undemocratic.”

Ahsan, however, rejected a claim by the government that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had consulted Sharif before announcing the extension on Thursday night or had won muted endorsement from the PML-N chief.

“We (the party) were never taken into confidence,” Ahsan said, creating ambiguity about the move which has encountered little resistance from political circles.

Ahsan’s refusal to comment on Gen Kayani’s extension came a day after it was reported that the party is divided over the extent of cooperation with the military.

Ahsan denied a rift in the party and said reports in this regard are fed to the media to malign the ‘principled’ politics of the Sharif brothers.

Fake degrees

While evading questions about his party’s reaction to Gen Kayani’s extension, he  continued to rake up the issue of fake academic degrees, criticising the government’s handling of it.

He said the PML-N is ready to sacrifice its provincial government for its “principled” position that “parliamentarian cheats” be punished.

His comment came in response to a question about how the PML-N would react if the disqualification of fake degree holders from the party poses a threat to the Punjab government.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Khadim Hussain Subhpoto
    Jul 25, 2010 - 2:35AM

    PML-N must not mince the words in supporting the government’s decision to grant General Kiani an extension for three years. This decicion has been held postively and has been appreciated countrywide. I do, however, appreciate their principled stand on the issue of fake degrees. Our parliament is sovereign. It shouild be purged from all cheats and negative elements to save itself from being further maligned and degraded. All the fake degree holders must be condemned and be driven out of the party forever. Only then, the wrongs can be corrected and compensated.Recommend

  • SD
    Jul 25, 2010 - 5:40AM

    Even if the PML-N opposes it, its already fait accompli, NS can only lick his own wounds now.Recommend

  • Jul 25, 2010 - 1:45PM

    The punishment should not end to the people bearing fake degrees but also to be inquired the roots from where taken and who helped them. The such people to be apprehended and punished equally.Recommend

  • imran
    Jul 25, 2010 - 4:28PM

    not surprised….this has been their state of mind for quite some time…..may be they should decide 1st whether they r a political party or not… far they hv only decided that mushi is the mother of all evil that we r facing these days…….Recommend

  • Jul 26, 2010 - 11:34AM

    Musharraf’s legilation proved worth as many cheaters are very clearly are being exposed to the public. Why not we wish to see our parliament with matured and educated persons. Recommend

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