ISLAMABAD, Jan 31: Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has again ruled out the possibility of any talks with the government on the issue of a caretaker set-up and predicted that the matter will eventually be decided by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
“It seems the ECP will have to decide as it is unlikely that the government and the opposition will develop a consensus on the issue,” he told reporters outside the Parliament House on Thursday.
He said there was no need for consultations with the government and announced that the opposition would formally announce the names for a caretaker prime minister and chief ministers after discussions with other opposition parties and would leave it to the government whether to accept or reject it.
“We will formally announce the names after receiving these from the centre and the provinces. If the government agrees it will be good. Otherwise, the matter will go to a parliamentary committee and then to the ECP to decide,” he said.
Chaudhry Nisar alleged that the ECP was being pressurised deliberately because of its role in the appointment of caretakers before the elections.
He questioned the logic of making Dr Tahirul Qadri a stakeholder in the matter. “How can a foreigner be made a stakeholder? Acceptance of his demands will set a wrong precedent in the country,” he said.
Commenting on reports that the government had constituted a team to hold talks with the opposition, he categorically stated that no talks were being held between the two sides.
Sources in the PPP told Dawn that because of the rigid stance of Chaudhry Nisar, the party leadership had asked Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to talk directly to PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif. They said the prime minister might visit Raiwind after the return of Mr Sharif from Saudi Arabia in the first week of February.
COMMISSION: Chaudhry Nisar rejected a report prepared by the parliamentary commission on new provinces and announced that all 90 members of the PML-N would move a privilege motion in the National Assembly when the report would be tabled in the house.
He said his party believed that the privilege of the opposition members had been breached since the government did not consult the leaders of opposition in the Senate and the National Assembly before forming the commission. He challenged the government to produce any notification asking him to suggest the names of his party representatives for the commission.
Chaudhry Nisar also questioned the role of President Asif Zardari in the formation of the commission headed by his spokesman Farhatullah Babar.
He said the Punjab Assembly through resolutions had sent a reference to the federal government, and not to the president, to form a national commission on the issue of new provinces. He said he was surprised how a ‘reference’ had been converted into a ‘message’.
KARGIL: The PML-N leader again called for forming a judicial commission to investigate the 1999 Kargil war and identify those responsible for bringing a bad name to the country and getting some 500 army officers and jawans killed.
Lt-Gen (retd) Shahid Aziz, a one-time close confidant of former military dictator Gen Pervez Musharraf, had claimed that the whole Kargil operation was planned by the former army chief and even the Air Force and Navy chiefs were not taken into confidence.
Chaudhry Nisar claimed that he possessed some evidence which would prove that Gen Musharraf had kept former prime minister Nawaz Sharif into dark about the ill-planned operation. He said it was Mr Sharif who had later come to the rescue of the soldiers and army officers trapped on the cliff with no food and water amid relentless Indian bombing.
He said it was written in the Charter of Democracy signed in May 2006 by Nawaz Sharif and PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto that whoever came to power would constitute a judicial commission on Kargil. He regretted that the PPP had not implemented this clause.