CHUNIAN - The Supreme Court tried to establish it’s supremacy over the parliament by toppling former prime minister Yousuf Gilani. So what’s wrong after the parliament passed the contempt of court law in hurry to balance the powers among state institutions. The PML-N’s opposition to the law is out of logic as it has made such legislations in the past as well. As far as Raza Rabbani and Atizaz Ahsan are concerned, I believe that this bill would have been acceptable, if these two personalities could have been consulted before tabling in the parliament.

These views were expressed by former Punjab labour and manpower minster and PPP Okara District President Ashraf Khan Sohna during an exclusive interview with TheNation here the other day.

To a question about Farhat Ullah Babar’s bill on giving ISI under civilian control, Sohna claimed that Farhat Ullah Babar withdrew his bill following the lukewarm response of the allies. “No matter how strong the democracy is, the strongest is the establishment in Pakistan. ISI role in politics is strongly condemned and this bill was an attempt to end the same but we found that even our allies are not ready to vote in its favour, so to be on the safer side, he withdrew the bill,” he elaborated.

The PPP stalwart claimed that he believed the government intention to allow dual nationality holders to contest elections and hold public offices was not fair. He said that if someone wanted to serve this country and hold public office, he must be loyal only to this country and should leave any other nationalities prior to election. “Some external forces want to see their loyal people as office-holders in Pakistan. There is no national interest for us in this matter and the PPP should avoid it,” he elaborated.

The former provincial minister pointed out that if the “third force” came in, the judiciary alone would be responsible for it. Sohna stated the elections were nearer and if the interim PM felt that the letter should be written he would write it. “Why can’t Supreme Court wait for a few months as it has been waiting for the last 4 years? Why is it necessary to derail democracy by the egoistic attitude? he posed question.

To a query that the Punjab government was trying to provide much to the people within the available resources, Sohna grinned, saying that the Punjab government is being run by “Finger Movement” and not by political mind. CM knows nothing but marriages. PML-N has deprived opposition members of development budget. They are spending all the resources in Lahore. Loadshedding issue is being politicised by the CM, although he himself did not implemented energy conference decisions including two vacations a week and markets shut down at 8pm. If he had implemented these decisions, the situation would have been 50% better than what it is now. By sitting 2 hrs in tent and 22 hrs in AC, CM cannot cheat the nation.

Sohna claimed that history tells that in Pakistan, no ruling party had never succeeded in regaining government. However it’s a blessing that opposition is divided. On the other hand the PPP has kept its allies united and they are happy with us. In my political prediction, the next Parliament will be more divided then the present as in next elections PTI, JI and other political parties who boycotted previous elections will also take their share in the parliament. So the next govt will be more dependent on allies then the present one. I don’t think that the PML-N has the ability to keep allies happier in a way as President Zardari has. It will be a challenge,” he argued.

To a question, the PPP district president said that they are following the way defined by the constitution. He claimed that people in southern Punjab are living in pathetic conditions. They are deprived of basic facilities and infrastructure. Their demand for the new province is genuine. It’s being done on administration grounds. There is no game behind it and the PML-N will pay the price for opposing it in next elections,” he predicted.

To another question, Sohna averred that he thinks until mid September court would realise that they gave a wrong decision, saying that a political man cannot be made non-political. “We are committed to free, fair and transparent elections. PPP president can do nothing in presence of an independent election commission as we have shown our commitment by appointing Justice (r) Fakhar uddin as Chief Election Commissioner. The only benefit PPP will get by President in next elections would be that no conspiracy will be possible against the PPP as it has been done in the past.”

About relation with the US, the former provincial minister said that the government was making a mechanism with the US to manage drone attacks. “If necessary this should be done only on the intelligence provided by Pak Army and the spot where Pakistan wants. Otherwise these attacks are counterproductive and adding fuel to fire,” he added.

About Balochistan situation, Sohna said that he thinks people in the Balochistan government are corrupt and making money from the public development funds. “The money given to the Balochistan government has not been spent for the development of people of Balochistan. Indeed, it has filled the thirst and greed of the people in Balochistan govt,” he claimed.