LAHORE - While the ex-prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani seems to be clued up on the issue of General Musharraf’s trial, even the senior most PPP leaders are clueless about his new stance which contradicts the party line.
The PPP leaders are finding it hard to defend the former prime minister who seems to have personal reasons for criticising the PML-N government for its current position on the trail of Pervez Musharraf.
The former premier is reportedly not happy with Sharif’s over treatment being meted out to him by the government authorities in respect of corruption cases instituted against him by the NAB.
This scribe talked to a number of PPP leaders to know the reasons about Mr Gilani’s new-found love for the former dictator, but no one was willing to say anything on the record.
Though senior PPP leaders including Farhatullah Babar, Qamar Zaman Kaira and Jehangir Badr have endorsed Gilani’s statement to the extent of political consensus over the issue of Musharraf’s impeachment and resignation, no one is ready to own the part of his statement criticising the PML-N for its current stance on former army chief’s trial.
Given his recent statement which trigged a controversy about its veracity, it seems that the former prime minister is deliberately confusing the issue of Musharraf’s resignation in 2008 with that of latter’s trial under Article 6.
Gilani has attempted to give the impression that PML-N had given an undertaking to the establishment that it would not initiate proceedings against the former general under treason charges.
On the other hand, Qamar Zaman Kaira, who was information minister in Yousuf Raza Gilani’s cabinet at that time, has clearly stated that the issue of Musharraf’s trial under Article 6 was never discussed when the four parties-PPP, PML-N, ANP and JUI-F reached an understanding that Musharraf should be allowed to leave the country after his resignation.
The Nation contacted the former premier to clarify his position on the issue in question, but he did not respond to the repeated calls made on his cellphone.
Talking to The Nation on Sunday, Kaira also said in categorical terms that PPP wanted the trial of General Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution for his unconstitutional act of October 1999. He also said that PML-N should have initiated treason trial of the former dictator on its own instead of taking refuge in the Supreme Court orders.
Without contradicting the statement of Yousuf Raza Gilani on the subject, the PPP’s information secretary further said that statements of party leaders, Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto on the issue of Musharraf’s trial leave no doubts that PPP stood for trial of the former dictator.