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Politicians concerned over ‘N’ affiliation with Sipah-e-Sahaba

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* ANP information secy says PML-N’s tacit support of extremists in Jhang by-polls detrimental to national stability

By Rana Kashif

LAHORE: The mainstream political parties of the country have expressed ‘serious concern’ over the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) political accord with the banned outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba and declared it as a step that will strengthen extremists, Daily Times has learnt.

The parties concurred that the PML-N’s ‘political romance’ with a banned organisation ‘blatantly opposed’ Pakistan’s policy on terrorism and extremism.

On the other hand, how this act of the PML-N will affect its relations with the Pakistan People’s Party – its coalition partner in Punjab – is no more a business for this party.

Detrimental: Talking to Daily Times, Awami National Party (ANP) Information Secretary Zahid Khan said the most important thing was the stability of the country, and the PML-N’s act of seeking support from ‘extremists’ in the Jhang by-polls was seriously detrimental to national stability.

He said that no one should ‘shake hands’ with such extremist elements of society, who were responsible for acts like the recent terror incidents in Lahore. Rather, the political parties and civil society should observe a ‘complete social boycott’ of all banned organisations, Zahid added. He said terrorism is the biggest threat to the country, as it damages Pakistan’s reputation at the international level. Zahid said a democracy gaining political success with the help of extremist elements is ‘worse than a dictatorship’.

Limit line: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Farooq Sattar said any political party that wants to form any alliance with a banned organisation should define a ‘limit line’. Before making any ‘political contact’ with such groups, the party has to ensure that the extremist group first agrees to adopt a ‘non-controversial’ political approach.

PML-Quaid (PML-Q) Senator Kamil Ali Agha said forging alliances with banned religious organisations was an ‘old practice’ of the PML-N’s. Under the current circumstances, the PML-N should not have made any contact with the Sipah-e-Sahaba, he added.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Information Secretary Fauzia Wahab said the PML-N’s political affiliation with the Sipah-e-Sahaba was a matter of ‘serious concern’ for the PPP. For the sake of the country, its people and sustained democracy, the PPP had adopted a policy of reconciliation and would continue pursuing it for the betterment of the country.

Hypocrisy: Criticising the PML-N over its affiliation with the Sipah-e-Sahaba during the Jhang by-polls, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Punjab President Ahsan Rasheed said the PML-N had adopted ‘double standards’ as it is a coalition partner of the PPP in Punjab on one hand, while it has the support of a banned religious outfit on the other. He said such decisions by the PML-N would create more problems for the country instead of resolving any.

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Written by rohitkumarsviews

March 15, 2010 at 6:01 am

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