ISLAMABAD - The lawmakers from treasury and opposition benches in the Senate yesterday condemned the October 12, 1999 military coup by the then Chief of Army Staff General (r) Pervez Musharraf and called upon all the institutions to work in their respective domains.

Taking part in the discussion on the existing political situation in the country, the senators observed that the actions taken by Musharraf on October 12 and afterwards caused a number of problems, including widening of differences among the federating units.

Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani at the end of the discussion said, “It is a matter of concern that the person (Musharraf) was staying in Defence (Housing Authority) while the ministers of that time were confirming that a behind the curtain joint settlement on Kashmir (with India) had been finalised.”

He said, had the deal been undertaken by some civilian, he would have been in Kot Lakhpat jail, expressing his regret that General (r) Pervez Musharraf was living in comfort in the posh area of Karachi.

Nehal Hasmi said, had Musharraf not taken on October 12, Baloch leader Akbar Bugti might have been alive and the provinces were close with one another.

Former federal minister and PML-N leader Mushahid Ullah Khan claimed that whenever army overstepped its mandate and overthrew the civilian set-up, it caused wrongdoings and the same would also happen in future. He said the present army leadership had earned respect as it was performing its functions.

He said the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri were amongst those who supported the dictatorial regime that time. He also condemned those judges who took oath from Musharraf.

He recalled that lawyers were set ablaze and twice elected Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated during the days of Pervez Musharraf in power but no one was held accountable. He alleged that external powers and the then government were involved in Benazir Bhutto’s murder.

Rejecting the allegations of rigging in bye-elections in Punjab, he asked PPP to think as to why its candidate could secure only 800 votes. He advised the PPP leadership to apologize to the nation over its mistakes as former Indian PM Indira Gandhi did after imposing emergency.

Saeed Ghani of PPP alleged that billions of rupees had been spent on NA-122 (Lahore) bye-polls in Punjab in clear violation of the law. “If the ECP cannot hold elections in few constituencies as per the law, how will it manage the challenge of holding polls for 272 national assembly seats and conducting local government polls in Punjab and Sindh,” he questioned.

He alleged that cars, motorcycles and latest mobiles phones had been distributed among voters as bribe to win their sympathies. He said the candidates were not scared of the ECP. He said that electoral reforms under such situation would be meaningless.

Lt-Gen (r) Salahuddin Tirmizi stressed that the politicians should take oath in a joint sitting not to support any unconstitutional step in future. He regretted that politicians in the past had offered their services to the dictators. He also criticised his own party by saying that the present cabinet was full of Musharraf’s associates.

Parliamentary leader of PKMAP Usman Kakar also condemned October 12 actions and lamented that Pervez Musharraf was still not behind the bars. Conspiracies against the parliament were still going on and an impression was being created that the politicians had failed to deliver and the country needed army’s rule. He said certain powers to keep control over foreign policy and other key subjects in their hands.

State Minister for Religious Affairs Peer Aminul Hasnat giving update to the house over Mina tragedy in Saudi Arabia said that total 97 Pakistanis had been found died in the incident till yet. Out of which 56 deaths have been confirmed by the Saudi government and 41 by the relatives of the deceased, he said. As many as 20 Pakistanis are still missing. He said that all injured Pakistanis had been discharged from the hospital there except two. He said that a compensation amount of Rs one million, 0.5 million each from the ministry and PM, had been announced. He said that the heirs of the deceased would be sent to Suadi Arabia through a special flight after green signal from its government. He said that no one from the relatives of the deceased had asked to bring back the dead body in Pakistan except three. Kalsoom Perveen stressed that the heirs should be sent to Saudi Arabia so that people could see the graves of their dear ones.