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National

November 16, 2015

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PML-N keeps mum as Achakzai speaks his mind

ISLAMABAD: Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) press release, urging for matching good governance to ensure long-term gains for ongoing operation echoed in Parliament and Mehmood Achakzai was the only legislator who declared it against the constitution’s spirit but the real stakeholder - PML N - kept mum over the issue.
A good number of ministers and treasury legislators were present on treasury benches but none of them endorsed, opposed or commented on the issue at the floor of the House. PTI’s Shafqat Mehmood endorsed the ISPR’s reservations and declared that it indicates the incompetence of the government which failed to fulfil its commitments over NAP. He urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to improve governance instead of giving space to other institution to cross the lines.
Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah censured the government that despite the said “press release” the PM did not direct the ministers to improve governance. He ignored the spirit of the press release and did not comment on the reservations of the armed forces over the good governance issue. Same did the treasury, which did not give the other side of the picture. However, Minister Barjees Tahir declared this statement uncalled for, but outside the House.
Achakzai was very clear and vowed to stand by ‘civilian Sharif’ in case of any misadventure. He expressed his concerns over foreign policy and suggested to discuss issues in a joint session of Parliament.
The opposition leader, who always advocates for joint session, kept mum over the issue. Shafqat Mahmood stood by Achakzai and made it clear that the PTI would oppose any unconstitutional act.
It is a fact that in the House the legislators could not speak according to their conscience due to party policy but later, on condition of anonymity, they expressed their views independently. The PML N legislators were divided over the issues. Hawks termed it attack on democracy and were of the view that it should be

responded in the same spirit as it was creating confusion and every institution should remain within its constitutional limits.
While doves admitted there are very serious issues of good governance related to National Action Plan (NAP) and otherwise. They admitted that mentionable improvements were not made on 20 points related to their government as promised. A senior leader said the government was facing lot of difficulties to implement the NAP in true spirit but it will take time. They claimed the prime minister was willing to deliver.
PPP had no clear stand over the issue that is why Khursheed Shah was very careful in Parliament while commenting on the issue. The PPP legislators were one page over the issue and they declared this press release uncalled for. They observed that the army is also part and parcel of the governance.
Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum observed that the ISPR press release was an observation instead an accusation and it should not be taken as charge sheet. He suggested the government and the Armed Forces should sit together and discuss all anomalies to find some way out instead making it a public issue. Baloch legislators said it was not the army’s right to respond in such a way and this message could be conveyed by other means instead making it public. However, they were concerned that the government might bounce back with the same spirit which would not benefit any one. The MQM MPs reserved their comments.
Earlier Speaker Ayaz Sadiq showed his muscles over ignoring Parliament by the ministers and bureaucracy. He was so annoyed that he adjourned the House proceedings for ten minutes to make sure the presence of the ministers and baboos.
Those parliamentary secretaries who were present in the House were not prepared and created embarrassment for the government. Rana Afzal, Jafar Iqbal and Raja Javed Ikhlas could not answer tricky questions and finally Zahid Hamid came to the rescue, and satisfied the opposition.

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