LAHORE - The Treasury and the Opposition yesterday locked horns on the issue of MQM offices, which are being demolished in Karachi after Altaf Hussain remarks against the country.

On the private members day, Opposition Leader Mian Mahmudur Rashid on a point of order raised the question on the statement of Law Minister Rana Sanaullah in which he had opposed the demolition.

Rasheed said Sana’s statement was contrary to what Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan had stated about the Rangers action in Karachi which also include pulling down illegal offices of the MQM.

“It smacks the PML-N leaders are not on the same page on the issue,” the PTI leader said, adding that Sana’s statement was equal to encouraging the anti-Pakistan elements and undermining the Rangers and Army.

He said terrorism could not be be stamped out without  unity. “Altaf said worst than what an enemy of the land could have done, and operation on the illegal offices was taken after that,” he said.

Speaker Rana Iqbal kept the issue on hold till the law minister’s appearance in the House. Sana was given the floor to answer, but he did not explain why he said so.

He said the whole nation vehemently denounced Altaf’s remarks; however ‘nothing should be done which could give the MQM chief face of an oppressed’.

As to the demotion of MQM offices, he said that many expressed reservations on it and now the Sindh CM cleared the air saying that they have been pulled down by the government as they encroached upon the public land.

The unsatisfied Opposition Leader said: “If the government was so much offended of Altaf statement, why it did not take action of high treason under Article 6 against him.” He blamed the government for acting hypocritically.

Without naming PTI and the PAT, the law minister pointed out their protest mission and bracketed them with Altaf on the level that they all had same agenda of creating instability and chaos in the country to hamper the development of the PML-N. “They are all acting on same foreign agenda.”

Sana went a yard ahead against PTI chief Imran Khan that he was acting on the fingers of others to invite the same fate for himself what Altaf did to end his politics. Opposition and Treasury members get entangled on this issue.

Amid voices from both side of the divide, Mahmudur Rasheed said that their movement aimed to get back  the looted money. Alluding to CM Shehbaz Sharif’s failed commitment to tear tummy of the (PPP) looters and take out public money, he said: “What the PML-N failed to do, would now be done by the PTI and the movement intended to it.”

This led to a noisy situation in the House on both which was soon brought under control by the chair which moved on the other business of the day.

The House carried four resolutions on different subjects, and demanded establishment of Wasa in Bahawalpur, special ramp in the public transport and at the bus terminals for the disabled, consolidation of bank of River Chenab in Sargodha, and ensuring cleansing the city of garbage during rainy season.

governor against ban

Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana yesterday opposed any ban on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, saying it should be allowed to work after its leaders ‘distanced themselves from the party chief’.

“MQM should be given a chance to work after the clarification of its leaders in Pakistan following the violence incited by the party head in London,” Rajwana told the media at Governor House yesterday.

The governor was asked to comment on the growing demand from various quarters that the Karachi-based party should be banned after the anti-Pakistan speech by Altaf Hussain, the MQM chief who is living in self-exile in London.

“All the political parties which disown few elements, having connections with foreign countries, are ‘patriotic’,” stated Rajwana, who belongs to the ruling party, PML-N.

When asked about the statement of Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah that Rangers were overstepping their mandate by demolishing MQM offices in Karachi, Rajwana said he did not know the context in which he (the law minister) had said so. Rana Sana Ullah was in a better position to explain his statement, the governor said. Nonetheless, he added, Rangers were performing their constitutional duties in Karachi on the orders of the federal government.

About the Opposition’s plan to protest against the government over the issues of Panama Papers and the Model Town incident, the governor said it was totally unjustified given the fact that both these cases were pending in the courts.

Rajwana also pointed out contradiction in the position taken by the opposition parties on the issue of Panama Leaks. “On the one hand, they have taken up the issue with the Election Commission and the Supreme Court, and, at the same time, they also plan to initiate street agitation,” he remarked while advising the opposition to bear with the government a little longer.

To a question about Chief Minister’s initiative for empowerment of southern Punjab by shifting some of the provincial offices at Multan, the governor said that the matter was still under consideration. Rajwana, while giving details about the proposed plan, said that certain offices like health, education and buildings department dealing with southern parts were planned to be shifted there, in order to facilitate people.