Ejaz vows to challenge intra-party poll clause


Nauman Tasleem April 12, 2010

LAHORE: Former president Ziaul Haq’s son Ejazul Haq, who is the chief of his own faction of the Pakistan Muslim League, has said he intends to challenge an 18th Amendment clause which exempts parties from holding internal polls.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, he rejected the renaming of the NWFP, and said it was an outrage against the people of the Hazara region.

He said in the uproar to delete General Ziaul Haq’s name, he recognised the voices of people, including that of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who had supported him during his tenure. He said according to article 58- 2(b), Gen Zia’s name was to be “automatically” removed from the Constitution after completion of his “five-year tenure in 1990”.

“The government is making the whole issue look like it has achieved something monumental,” he said. Stressing the need for reunifying the League, he said he would again meet PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif to discuss the matter.

Criticising the government, he said it was politicians who were “so incompetent” they could not even … scrap clauses inserted in the Constitution by Gen Zia, because the changes introduced by him were “Islamic and enjoyed popular support”.

Ridiculing assertions that the imposition of martial law had been blocked forever, he said if they were so powerful, “why have they not been able to implement Article 6 just once” against any dictator.

He said that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s name should also be included among those who should be tried under Article 6 because he was “not only a civilian martial law administrator, but also served as a covering candidate for Gen Ayub Khan when he contested presidential election against the Quaidi- Azam’s sister Fatima Jinnah”.

Ejazul Haq said that if the government was serious in reopening the Bhutto murder case, the cases of Ahmed Khan Kasuri, Chaudhry Zahoor Elahi and Khwaja Mohammed Rafique should also be reopened.

He said the situation in Pakistan was “very much like Kyrgyzstan where everything changed within hours”.

He said that by naming the NWFP as Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, the government had created reasons for ethnic strife, adding that this would lead to demands for separate provinces for “Seraikispeaking and Urdu-speaking people”.

Mr Haq said the government had “failed on all fronts”. Referring to his move to reunify Muslim League factions, Mr Haq said he had made a similar effort in 2004 and he believed that all factions “with a natural affinity to the ideals of the original Muslim League should re-merge”.

He said he was also “ready to meet the Chaudhrys (of Gujrat) if they stopped serving as the Pakistan Peoples Party’s B-team”.

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