ISLAMABAD - Ruling out any role in Arsalan Iftikhar scandal, Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition government has expressed its resolve to conduct impartial inquiry into the whole affair as per the directions of the Supreme Court.
Those who attended the meeting included Senators Ch Shujaat Hussain and Mushahid Hussain Sayed of PML-Q, Senators Haji Adeel Ahmed Khan and Zahid Khan of ANP, Senator Babar Khan Ghouri and Haider Abbas Rizvi of MQM and Senator Abbas Khan Afridi and Munir Khan Orakzai of Fata. PPP leaders, Syed Khursheed Shah, Senator Farook H Naek and presidential spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar were also present.
It is the second meeting of the coalition partners after surfacing of the bribe scandal involving chief justice’s son Arsalan Iftikhar and Malik Riaz Ahmad, owner of one of the leading housing societies namely Bharia Town, who had leveled serious allegations on Arsalan.
Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting, which lasted for well over two hours, informed TheNation that it was the unanimous view of the participants to stay away from the whole affair and come up with the strong denial of the news and statements coming out from various quarters, specifically from certain opposition parties, that there is some conspiracy against the superior judiciary in the whole affair and they are trying to establish its links with the government.
The sources said that the meeting decided that legal formalities in the case would be fulfilled in the light of the instructions given by the apex court in the case.
They further informed that President Zardari, while sharing his views with the coalition partners, said that they would not let any conspiracy against the incumbent political dispensation succeed and would continue to move forward with the politics of consensus and reconciliation.
The sources further said that it was also the considered view of both president and prime minister to contest the future elections in the country jointly with the coalition partners for which a special meeting would be organised at some later stage.
The possibility of early elections and its fallouts in the prevailing circumstances also figured in the meeting.
The coalition partners raised the issue of the loadshedding and other problems facing the masses and it was decided that government would go extra-mile to minimise the loadshedding and unscheduled loadshedding would be brought to an end in the next month or so.
Later in a brief of the meeting, presidential spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the meeting reiterated resolve to uphold supremacy of the parliament as envisaged in the constitution.
The meeting appreciated the resolution passed by the parliament endorsing the decision of the NA speaker against sending reference to the Election Commission of Pakistan under article 63(2) of the constitution for the disqualification of the Prime Minister Gilani. It said that the speaker represents the dignity of the house.