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November 9, 2018

Govt gave NRO to clerics who caused riots: Zardari

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November 9, 2018

KHAIRPUR: Former president and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday said a National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was given to clerics who caused the riots. The PPP co-chairman while speaking to the media in Khairpur was responding to a question regarding the government’s earlier statements on the NRO and said they gave an NRO just a few days earlier.

Referring to an agreement between the government and the protesters who staged sit-ins across the country following a Supreme Court verdict acquitting Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case, Zardari said the clerics who used derogatory language were given an NRO.

“Those 1,200 poor people who were captured on TV will be arrested but an NRO was given to the clerics who caused the riots,” the former president said. Commenting on the government approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package, Zardari said he doesn’t think Pakistan should go to the IMF and instead our markets should be strengthened.

“When we were in the government we worked. We paid people for their land and prepared a feasibility draft for the Bhasha Dam,” he said. Stating that the people are worried and prices of all commodities have increased, Zardari said when petrol and gas prices are increased, the prices of all goods will rise. He said U-turns are always taken.

Pointing to the PPP leader Manzoor Wassan who was accompanying him, Zardari said Wassan had dreamt that the incumbent PTI government would not complete its term.

Regarding the ongoing inquiries by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), he said no bureaucrat was ready to work in such circumstances. He said it seems an Under-14 team is playing which cannot control the situation.

Responding to a question on former premier Nawaz Sharif, Zardari said may be Nawaz and Maryam were cooling down the situation. Zardari said that like Nawaz, the incumbent government also came into power after an agreement. –Sabah

Mumtaz Alvi adds from Islamabad: Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi, much to the astonishment of many, revealed in the Senate on Thursday that some workers of certain political parties sitting in the parliament were found involved in torching and ransacking (of properties) during the recent protests with regards to the Supreme Court judgment in the Aasia Bibi case.

“Those who broke the law during countrywide protests against the Supreme Court’s acquittal of Aasia Bibi will not go unpunished, whereas on seeing footage, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) had disowned the miscreants. However, there will be no concession to those who challenged the state writ and we will make an example out of them,” he asserted while responding to the speeches of opposition senators.

Shehryar Afridi said that the government, opposition leaders, chief ministers and law-enforcement agencies were on one page that use of force against protesters should be avoided. “In the Naya Pakistan, there will be no use of bullet or baton against Pakistanis who surrender before the state. We shall embrace them,” he contended.

Referring to the opposition’s criticism of the government, the minister said that policies were framed for personal interests and negotiations were held only after spill of blood with the other side, whereas the PTI-led government successfully negotiated with the TLP leadership, who apologised to the government. However, he added there would be no compromise on those who had broken the law.

He urged senators not to disgrace the House and other state institutions by passing needless remarks without going into ground realities. He talked about the need for capacity building of institutions, like prosecution and referred to the arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, who had to be tried in the military courts.

The minister shared that the TLP disowned the rioters, when the government sat with the party and showed its leaders video clips of those who resorted to violence. He explained that adequate measures were being taken by the cybercrime wing of FIA, PTA and Nadra. Besides, he continued that data of miscreants had also been obtained for geo-fencing and forensic purposes.

While referring to one of the terms of the agreement signed with the TLP, the minister contended that it was every Pakistani’s right to file a review petition. He said the implementation of the Supreme Court findings was the state’s responsibility, which would be fulfilled in letter and spirit.

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