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Interior minister accused of backing terrorists

Updated January 02, 2016


ISLAMABAD: Taking cue from her party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, a little known PPP MNA on Friday staged a blistering attack on the powerful interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, accusing him of providing support to terrorists and militant organisations.

If this wasn’t enough, the PPP backbencher, Shahida Rehmani, also alleged that Chaudhry Nisar was running a network of corruption through handpicked patwaris (revenue officers) of the Punjab government.

“Every now and then, the interior minister makes statements about his progress but what is happening on the ground speaks volumes about him,” the lawmaker on a reserved seat stated on the floor of the National Assembly.

MNA Shahida Rehmani accuses Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan of corruption

Last week, addressing the death anniversary of his mother in Gari Khuda Bakhsh, the young PPP chairman had targeted the federal government for using the National Acton Plan (NAP) against his party.

Other PPP leaders also lashed out at the interior minister for trespassing the Sindh government’s authority.

If Ms Rehmani’s speech was an indication, it seemed in coming days the PPP would go harder on the federal government.  

“Few yards from here a religious scholar has expressed his allegiance to Daesh and of late media reports have confirmed the spread of the terrorist organisation in the country which I believe this maulana has a role in. But, alas, our interior minister doesn’t see anything wrong in it,” said Ms Rehmani.

She said if this didn’t come under terrorism, can someone from the treasury explain what is called terrorism.

The interior minister over the last a couple of weeks has repeatedly said since there were no charges against Maulana Abdul Aziz of Lal Masjid, the government cannot arrest him.  

Likewise, Ms Rehmani said the government was sitting on the judgment against Mumtaz Qadri, who has been awarded the death sentence by the courts for murdering Punjab governor Salman Taseer.

“What’s stopping the government from implementing the court ruling,” she asked.

The minister attended the earlier part of the sitting and had left the house when Ms Rehmani made his scathing attack on him. Interestingly, no one from the government side thought it appropriate to response to the remarks.

Recalling the failed Sasti Roti scheme of the PML-N, the PPP lawmaker also accused the minister of minting money by stealing flour bags through the patwaris.

After targeting Chaudhry Nisar, Ms Rehmani spoke about what she claimed mega corruption cases of the PML-N government.

“It seems the PML-N is fast returning to the politics of the 90s when its ministers used to paint the PPP as the most corrupt party. But what about Nandipur power project and metro bus. There have been reports about corruption allegedly committed by the present government. However, nobody talks about them. Does corruption only exist in Sindh?”

She also accused the federal government of spending 75pc of funds under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Punjab. “What about the rest of the country, which also need funds for healthcare and education facilities.”

She also spoke against the privatisation of PIA, saying it was being done only to favour a few close to the government.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2016