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ISLAMABAD: PML-Q, MQM to shoot down anti-Musharraf resolution

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By Tariq Butt
The Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) are independently determined to scuttle the move to have a unanimous resolution passed by the National Assembly, seeking the trial of Pervez Musharraf on high treason charges.

“We will certainly not vote for this kind of resolution as Musharraf’s trial is not an issue on this occasion,” PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain told The News.

Concerted efforts, he said, should be made by all those who matter in the political and parliamentary fields to forget the past and move forward.

Chaudhry Shujaat said if any parliamentary party wanted to sponsor a resolution, such a motion should call for improving the grim law and order situation, reducing the price-hike, alleviating poverty and solving many myriad problems facing the nation.

When contacted, MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi told this correspondent that his party would firm up its stand on such a resolution after it was tabled in parliament. However, the final stand will be decided by its coordination committee, he said.

But at the same time, Rizvi ridiculed those who had announced to move a bill in the current National Assembly session to repeal the 17th Amendment and asked sarcastically: “Have they done so?”

His taunt implied in a roundabout manner that no such resolution was likely to be presented in the National Assembly because of difference of opinion among the parliamentary parties. His stand indicated that the MQM would go against the resolution.

Responding to the opposition’s fervent call to arraign Musharraf for high treason, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani recently declared in the National Assembly that his government would institute such a case against Musharraf the day the lower house unanimously passed a resolution to the effect.

Official circles say the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is not inclined to approve such a resolution and the presidency is totally opposed to Musharraf’s trial.

The ambitious PML-N walked into the “trap” of getting a unanimous resolution without proper homework. The prime minister accepted its demand with the condition of having a unanimous resolution first. Now, the PML-N has started talking to other parties to secure their support to its impending resolution it has announced to move in the ongoing National Assembly session.

On the second burning issue relating to the fate of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), Chaudhry Shujaat said his party would oppose its passage in parliament. But he has no doubt that the government would never present it before the legislature. Its fate, he said, will be decided by the Supreme Court.

Asked to comment on this issue, Rizvi said if the purpose of repealing the NRO was to reopen cases against the Muttahida men, then his party was ready to face them as it had done in the past. “It is not an issue for us because we will prove our innocence in courts as we had done earlier.”

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