LAHORE: In a sudden U-turn from its vehement opposition of President Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has now agreed to offer ‘conditional’ support to him.
“If President Zardari establishes a neutral caretaker set-up for fair and transparent general elections, the PML-N will not object to his presidency,” Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told reporters on Thursday outside the Punjab Assembly. “The entire nation is aware of Zardari’s corruption but despite that, the PML-N will cooperate with him in the general elections.”
Ironically, Sanaullah said that in the past four years, the prime minister had gone back on his stance ‘400 times’ while the PML-N had not done so.
“Elections must be held under an upright and neutral caretaker set-up. President Zardari’s office will be unable to influence the results if there is an impartial interim set-up and an independent election commission,” Sanaullah said.
Talking about the case of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s former media adviser Mian Khurram Rasool, whose arrest has been ordered by the Supreme Court, Sanaullah said that if Rasool is captured, Gilani will automatically be implicated in the scam.
‘Khosa deserves honorary shield’
The PPP leader Raja Riaz, who is the opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly, has said that Punjab Commerce and Industry Minister Dost Muhammad Khan Khosa should be given an honorary shield for his statement against Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Khosa had said that the government must appoint a proper health minister in the province. The portfolio is currently held by the chief minister himself.
“The chief minister should appear before the house and explain the reasons for the Punjab Institute of Cardiology fiasco,” Riaz told reporters outside the assembly. “Shahbaz should honour parliamentary norms and attend sessions.”
However, Khosa has said that his statement was distorted.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2012.