Thursday, Sep 04, 2003
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By B. Muralidhar Reddy
The party has said that the threats are a crude attempt to stifle debate on important issues and wondered why the government was stalling establishment of a commission to examine the Kargil "tragedy".
In her recent press interviews Ms. Bhutto had alleged that when she was the Prime Minister, as Director-General of Military Operations, Gen. Musharraf had come forward with plans on Kargil type of operations. Ms. Bhutto claimed that she had rejected a plan on Siachin as well.
Far from being defensive, the party said that after the arrest of several army officers for alleged ties with extremist groups, hardliners in the military regime were desperate to scandalise Ms. Bhutto who is the "alternative leader" of the country, given her popular support.
It asserted that Ms. Bhutto did stop a Kargil type misadventure during her tenure as Prime Minister thus saving the lives of three thousand best soldiers and officers as well as the country's honour and self-respect.
"Ms. Bhutto saved the country from the humiliation of a unilateral withdrawal at the dictate of New Delhi as conveyed from Washington when she was Prime Minister because she possessed leadership qualities to defend the self respect and honour of Pakistan.
"After the Bangladesh tragedy, Kargil was the worst setback that Islamabad suffered," the party argued.
It said the threats of treason trials were attempts to silence discussion on a pivotal national issue.
"It is laughable that a regime which had come into being by violating Article 6 of the Constitution should threaten the Opposition leader with treason.
``Let it not be forgotten that the last Pakistani leader to be tried for treason was Shaikh Mujib-ur-Rahmen, the Bengali leader. The trial ultimately resulted in the break-up of the country," the party said.
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