Original Articles

Shahbaz Sharif – Reality Check

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s statement  to spare the Punjab from attacks since  both Taliban and N -league has same agenda was condemnable . My question to Mr Sharif is if both N-league and Taliban has same agenda ;wheter the agenda of previous N.W.F.P government of MMA was any different   then Taliban ??or he is trying to suggest that  N-league is even  more closer to Taliban ideology then  MMA was OR he is saying  MMA was not against NATO forces in Afghanistan and Nawaz League is .

Reality is MMA government was obstacle against generating public opinion against Taliban and many of their minister  used  to justify sucide attacks and  had a reason to explain on barbaric sucide attack . My plea is  taliban nevered listen to MMA and not spared Pakhtunhuwa from attacks  and infact offcial record  suggest there were record increase in sucide and other attacks during MMA regime in Puktunkhuwa from 2002-2007 .

Many observer beleive Shahabaz was addressing Punjabi trading class who are fearing   minimal business activity in unstable security situation and thus  don’t want military operation in upper part of the country against taliban and Sipah -i-Sahaba in punjab fearing retaliation from them in urban center  that will adversely the business activity  .

Punjabi urban trading class is a traditional vote bank for Sharif’s in punjab and sharif beleive further attacks will lead to embrassing situation for him among  trading class of Punjab .

My question to sharif is wheter bussiness activity gained momentum in N.W.F.P during MMA regime since they also claimed to have similar agenda which taliban is fighting for ?? NO

Does Pukhtun are thankful to MMA  for advocating taliban’s agenda ?? NO Shahbaz Sharif has to quickly decide wheter he wants to become hurdle against new found civilian ownership in favour  state onslaught against militant and become part of history like MMA ?? decision has to be made by N league .

About the author

Humza Ikram


Click here to post a comment
  • Sharifs’ controversy —Zeeshan Noel Christopher

    We must acknowledge that, contrary to the speech of Quaid-e-Azam on August 11, 1947, it is now clear that Muslims are still considered Muslims and Hindus are still treated as Hindus in this Islamic Republic of Pakistan

    “What is hidden in the heart leaps out of the tongue” was, perhaps, the most comprehensive and succinct reply from Mr Shahbaz Sharif’s opponents after his appeal to the Taliban a few days back. When the dead bodies of innocent people, who lost their lives in the recent bomb attacks, were being buried in Lahore and the injured were being nursed, the whole nation learnt that the Taliban and the elected government of Punjab — represented by the PML-N — have struggled for the same cause for many years, i.e. resisting the dictatorship of General Musharraf and opposing US policies. The chief minister did not stop there. He also requested the Taliban to spare Punjab from their terrorist activities considering the commonalities between the Taliban and the people running the Punjab government. This statement was severely criticised inside and outside parliament. As always, the PML-N claimed the statement was being misquoted and interpreted out of context. Fortunately or unfortunately, this controversy ended when Mr Sharif met the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Kayani and assured him of his full support to fight the terrorists.

    Just after the end of this controversy, another Sharif came into the field, leading us towards another controversy. This was Justice Khawaja Muhammad Sharif, the Chief Justice (CJ) of the Lahore High Court (LHC), and one of the stalwarts of the lawyers’ movement. He had allegedly stated that the Taliban have carried out the worst kind of suicide attacks and bomb blasts, such as those that Lahore witnessed recently, and that money for such terrorist attacks was being provided by the Hindus. These remarks, from such an honourable judge, were enough to irk and create panic for those few people who still consider non-Muslims to be equal citizens of this country. But a clarification soon came explaining that this statement was misquoted and interpreted out of context. But let us analyse the statement, the discussion about this statement in the National Assembly, and the impact it will have on our society in the future.

    First of all, the content of the alleged statement was very controversial and an effort to tamper with the founding principles of the state. Although the LHC has contradicted this observation of involvement of the Hindu community, it made us think for a moment how can a judge be considered an icon of justice in society if he has such views and thinks that Hindus are financing terrorist activities in Lahore, knowing that four million Hindus live in Pakistan? At the moment, Pakistan is passing through a very crucial phase and such statements, which are reported in the mass media, can only lead us to chaos in society. Following such news items reported in the mass media, can a Hindu citizen expect justice in Pakistan? Who will guarantee their security? Who would have saved them from the rage and anger of their fellow countrymen if they would have really started believing in what was reported as the LHC CJ’s statement? This is not at all an exaggeration; this is a valid apprehension keeping in view the burning of villages in Sialkot and Gojra in very recent months. We must acknowledge that, contrary to the speech of Quaid-e-Azam on August 11, 1947, it is now clear that Muslims are still considered Muslims and Hindus are still treated as Hindus in this Islamic Republic of Pakistan. This alleged statement could have only served to perpetuate the social, economic and political marginalisation of the religious minorities of Pakistan. Thanks to the CJ and the registrar of the LHC who quickly contradicted this statement, the whole nation has been saved from plunging into unrest.

    Secondly, I would like to discuss the interesting comment given by Federal Minister Syed Khurshid Shah while defending Justice Sharif in the National Assembly. The minister said that the Justice could not have made such a statement and might have referred to India and not the Hindu community. Let us, for a moment, accept the logic that he was referring to India and not the Hindu community as mentioned by the minister. Is it not the responsibility of the foreign office to comment on the alleged involvement of India in the terrorist attacks of Lahore? Does the constitution allow a judge to comment on issues related to a country’s foreign policy? Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was right when he criticised Mr Shahbaz Sharif for defending the Taliban and thus affecting Pakistan’s foreign policy. However, why is a PPP minister now allowing a judge to determine the nature of the relationship Pakistan should have with India?

    I believe that these statements have disappointed those people who want this country to be a progressive, modern and democratic state where everyone is regarded as an equal citizen, where terrorists are not considered the allies of elected governments and where notions of hatred and prejudice are not promoted. But, unfortunately, the ruling elite of Pakistan, which has been operating through coercive martial and civilian governments, has refused to side with the poor, disadvantaged and weak. At this juncture in our history, we have come to an impasse in terms of creating a modern, rational and democratic state and a corresponding enlightened, tolerant and inclusive society. The way forward is to logically figure out the crises faced by us as a nation and then strive to seek just, people-friendly and viable solutions.

    The writer is a political activist associated with Awami Party Pakistan and can be reached at zeeshannoel@gmail.com


  • The democratic regimes are often targeted rather un-kindly for the reason that they show more restraint to criticism which is appreciated until it becomes a direct attack on state functions. We need to give the elected representatives the space and chance to prove themselves. They government is fighting at various fronts as it counters extremism at one front it faces energy crisis at the other. One wishes for a miracle wand! But change comes through hard work!