KARACHI: Condemning the Peshawar bus blast, Senior Sindh Minister Nisar Ahmad Khuhro said on Wednesday that the tragic incident posed a big question mark over Zarb-i-Azb and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
He asked the KP government what it was doing to restore law and order to the province. “Will it restrict itself to making statements or take any practical steps in this regard?” he asked.
The minister expressed these views while speaking at a press conference at his chamber in the Sindh Assembly building here after his meeting with Consul General of Japan Akira Oachi.
He said efforts were being made for the past two and a half years to break up the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), but the masses had foiled all such designs.
About changing of ministers’ status, he said that reshuffling in the portfolios of ministers was the prerogative of the party and all PPP lawmakers were bound to accept party decisions. In reply to a question, the minister said the period of Zarb-i-Azb was of two years which could not be extended as there was no mention of granting any extension to Zarb-i-Azb in the Constitution. If the operation was allowed to continue, it would be negligence on the part of the provincial governance, he added.
Although Zarb-i-Azb was launched by Nawaz Sharif, he never made any bold statement against the Taliban, Mr Khuhro said.
Answering a question, he said the legislation regarding women’s protection by the Punjab Assembly was a matter between Nawaz Sharif and Maulana [Fazlur Rahman].
In reply to a question, the minister said that in the politics of the country only two times people had been asked for pardon. Now it was for the third time that an apology was being extended to people.
For the first time, an apology was extended by the Supreme Court for protecting four martial laws in the country; the second apology was extended by Imran Khan for supporting Gen [Pervez] Musharraf’s referendum and now Mustafa Kamal was the third person who was seeking pardon. But his action raised many questions, he said.
In reply to a question about former president Asif Ali Zardari’s return, Mr Khuhro said he had already made it clear in an interview. “We are not against accountability, but against victimisation as no one should be accused merely on the basis of allegation,” he said.
Referring to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Mr Khuhro said remarks of the apex court were on record in which it had stated: “NAB is an institution of ‘Khaow and Khilaow’ and if it is so, everyone is justified in questioning NAB performance.”
Answering a question, he said Lakhra Power Plant and Thar Coal mining work continued for the past so many years. But he avoided making any comment on it, saying that if NAB had initiated any action, let the facts be exposed.
Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2016