RE Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer Saturday labelled the report about the alleged plot to kill Chief Justice Lahore High Court Khawaja Sharif as a conspiracy against democracy, saying the men behind the report had connections with banned outfits, which were bent upon derailing democracy.
Addressing a news conference at the Governors House, Salmaan told reporters that he had written a letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, requesting him to institute an impartial enquiry for verifying the facts and unearthing the reality.
We will accept whatever conclusion the CJP reaches, he briefly answered further questions regarding the rift between the PPP government and judiciary.
The governor initiated his talk by reciting Ghalibs famous verse 'Hota hai shab-o-roz tamasha mere aage (Day and night I see this drama) and said he was waiting for the outcome of the sordid theatrical act before talking to the media.
He said an anonymous report was handed over to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif having serious allegations levelled against the Governor Punjab - 'the constitutional head of the province - that the latter was involved in a conspiracy to kill the CJ LHC.
The report was not to be shared since it was meant for the 'CMs eyes only, but Secretary to the CM Dr Tauqir Shah released the unsigned document to a mediaman, he said, while mentioning that in his letter to the CJP, he had pointed out the fact explicitly and figured out why such a dubious report had been brought to light.
Because of this, the federal government and the governor have been brought to disrepute, he averred.
According to Salmaan Taseer, Major Mushtaq, Jehanzeb Burki and Secretary Public Prosecution Department Rana Maqbool (he renamed the latter as Rana Mafroor) had doctored the report. They have connections with the banned religious outfits, and have attacked democracy. Such conspiracies derailed democracy in the past and caused hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he observed.
I am not afraid of these Rana Mafroor and Co. I have faced them already. They will go back to the same places from where they had come, predicted the governor, while asserting that the intriguers were not political minds.
They are not visionaries, and such people should be thrown out since they are hell-bent damaging democracy.
I dont know whether to weep or laugh at the report, he remarked.
Salmaan told the mediamen that all the police officers and officials, including Col (r) Ihsan, interrogated by the FIA on orders of the Centre, had denied having any link to the suspicious report. Col (r) Ihsan was pressurised to own the report, but he didnt, as the ex-armyman was asserting that it was baseless, he said.
At this point, the governor criticised the media, especially the reporter, and opined that no proper investigation was done to verify the unsigned report. Is it an independent media? he questioned.
While enumerating names of criminals mentioned in the report, he alleged that they were the PML-N men. Though I am shocked and dismayed at the release of the report, but we have and will continue to support the PML-N government, he declared.
He also requested PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif to look into the wrongdoings of the provincial government. In the same vein, he asked CM: Has the report been released with your consent? If so, then tell it to the people. Secondly, if Dr Tauqir did so on his own, then what action have you (Shahbaz Sharif) taken against your secretary?
When quizzed about the much-speculated change of the government and its connection with the report, Salmaan asserted that nothing would happen to the present democratic dispensation since no change was in the offing.
Despite this diatribe against the officials of the provincial government, the governor explicitly mentioned that neither he had criticised the PML-N government nor he had exonerated the CM. Either Shahbaz Sharif should tell the reality or let someone else do that, he advised his political adversary.