ISLAMABAD - The PML-N government has said in a confident tone that army and government are on same page to deal with all important issues.
Any advice to government from competent army command should not be mistaken for an expression of disharmony between civilian and army leadership, Federal Minister for State and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch told the National Assembly.
“The command of army is much competent and professional. Any piece of advice to government should not be considered as dissenting note,” he said while taking part in debate on law and order in the country, under a government moved motion as they clubbed opposition parties adjournment motions under rule 259.
The House on first day of last (11th) session of this parliamentary year witnessed rare show of unity between ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to criticise the character assassination of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and its chief by one media group.
Opposition party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) apparently taking advantage from the subject of debate strongly criticised the concerned authorities on alleged killings of their party workers and walked out from the proceeding in protest.
A verbal brawl between AML chief Sheikh Rashid and some members of treasury benches also came during the proceeding when NA Speaker Iyaz Sadiq disallowed Sheikh to speak against media group for flashing ISI chief picture for around 8 hours.
Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch categorically said that government and army are on same page on all important matters. He also went against discrediting the sacrifices of the army. He said there was no need to giving false colour to the visit of army chief to ISI headquarters.
“A question mark has been raised over the coverage of attack on Hamid Mir and subsequent developments,” he said, strongly opposing it. “We are providing the enemies to malign our institution... It is my request to keep trust in government and patience, as punishment should be given (to the culprits),” Baloch said while talking about the conduct of the media house concerned in the aftermath of Mir attack.
About the PTI’s campaign regarding verification of thumb impression to determine rigging in May 11 general elections, he said the PTI should realise the current sensitive situation. He also criticised media outlets for flashing the statements of two ministers in recent past. In response to concerns raised by PTI lawmaker Shah Mehmood Qureshi, he said that abnormal situation could be dealt by abnormal steps. He criticised MQM for linking all the things with the federal government.
Taking part in debate, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Chaudhry Barjees Tahir said the government would face criticism by the opposition with open heart. “Opposition should give suggestions and point out if they find any flaws in the government policies,” he said, responding to the concerns raised by Sheikh Rashid.
Earlier, opening the debate, PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the flashing of ISI chief’s photo on a private channel was regrettable. “Targeting any institution in such a way was indecent, as even general public disliked it”, he opined, adding that this incident provided an opportunity to some elements to malign national institutions. However, he condemned attack on the senior media person saying that his party always believe in freedom of media but there should be responsibility attached with it.
Qureshi lambasted Sindh and Punjab government for the increase in the crime rates. He further said situation in KPK is improving. Giving his views about MQM’s walkout, he said that MQM was now part of Sindh government. “It is strange for them to speak against provincial government.”
MQM’s Rasheed Godil, on his turn, strongly criticised concerned authorities over the ‘continuous killing’ of their party workers in Karachi. “MQM workers are being killed brutally. Are they not Pakistani? This is unfair attitude,” he said and walkout from the proceeding of the House along with other party lawmakers.
Earlier, responding to call-attention notice about the sale of imported eatables, Minister for Commerce Engineer Khuram Dastgir said the government is making a law to restrict import of Haram food ingredients into Pakistan. He also assured for an immediate action against on this count.