Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the PML-N believed in promoting democracy and stability of democratic institutions and its chief Nawaz Sharif had asked President Asif Ali Zardari not to address the joint session of parliament before doing away with the 17th amendment. - Photo by AP.

LAHORE Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the Taliban and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz both opposed former military dictator Pervez Musharraf and, therefore, he is surprised that this common stance has failed to stop the Taliban from carrying out terror attacks in Punjab.

“Gen Musharraf planned a bloodbath of innocent Muslims at the behest of others only to prolong his rule, but we in the PML-N opposed his policies and rejected dictation from abroad and if the Taliban are also fighting for the same cause then they should not carry out acts of terror in Punjab (where the PML-N is ruling),” he said at a seminar held here on Sunday to commemorate the services of late Mufti Muhammad Hussain Naeemi.

The chief minister said that extremism and terrorism were the result of wrong policies of the Musharraf regime and the country was now paying a heavy price for those policies.

The chief minister claimed that the PML-N pursued policies which were not dictated from abroad and said that his party had taken a forceful stand on the Kerry-Lugar bill because it compromised sovereignty, integrity and survival of the country and it still had some reservations over the law.

He criticised US policies in the region and said it was only concerned about its own interests.

He said that although other political parties had also raised their voice against the US law it was the PML-N which had played an active role and made it a serious issue within and outside parliament.

He said that despite the passage of two years, the government had not repealed the 17th amendment and promises made in this regard had not been fulfilled.

He said the PML-N was against any accountability law which helped cover up corruption and such a law would be a grave injustice to the nation.

He said the PML-N believed in promoting democracy and stability of democratic institutions and its chief Nawaz Sharif had asked President Asif Ali Zardari not to address the joint session of parliament before doing away with the 17th amendment.

He said that unity and solidarity were the need of the hour and people would have to shun sectarian and other differences to steer the country out of the difficult time it was facing. He said the country needed a system that would ensure supremacy of justice and equitable distribution of resources among the people.

Without providing justice and basic facilities to the deprived people, he said, a bloody revolution might take place and destroy everything in its path. If justice was not provided and decisions of courts were not respected, people would lose faith in democracy and democratic set-up, he said. Urging Ulema to play a frontline role in promoting unity, harmony and brotherhood and finding a way out of the current mess, Mr Sharif said the country needed collective efforts to counter the daunting challenges of terrorism and extremism.

The Punjab President of Mutahidda Ulema Board, MNA Sahibzada Fazal Karim, Jamia Naeemia administrator Dr Raghib Husain Naeemi, Tanzeem-ul-Madaris Pakistan president Mufti Muneebur Rehman, Pir Syed Khalilur Rehman Chishti, Maulana Intekhab Alam and others also spoke on the occasion.

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