‘Q’ comes to PPP’s rescue


ISLAMABAD – With a tacit message of cooperation to the Pakistan People’s Party in case the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) also quitted the government, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) on Tuesday extended full support to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, pledging that it would not let “a unanimous leader of the House down”.
Speaking on a point of order in the National Assembly, PML-Q’s Riaz Hussain Pirzada took exception to what he called the prime minister’s character assassination and said it was inappropriate to demand resignation from a unanimously elected leader of the House who symbolised parliament’s prestige. However, Pirzada also asked the government to show maturity and not revive the politics of confrontation of the 1990s.
Referring to the FIA raid on Moonis Elahi’s office, he said the government should not set negative precedents which may destabilise the democratic system in the country. He warned the government not to de-track from the path of political reconciliation and turn its friends into foes at this critical time when its friends were parting ways with it.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly also offered fateha for the departed soul of former premier Benazir Bhutto on her third death anniversary. The House also offered fateha for the victims of Sunday’s suicide blast in Bajaur. Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Naveed Qamar said decision to shutter fertiliser industry vis-a-vis gas load shedding programme would accumulate enough gas in January 2011, saving domestic consumers from low pressure or non-availability of the essential commodity.
The minister attributed load shedding and low pressures to burgeoning gap between supply and demand of the commodity which hit the county every winter. Besides, new towns and localities had been added to the already stressed system, he added. He said the government had adopted a uniform policy throughout the country, and there was no point of cutting gas supply to any particular province.
Referring to the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline projects, Qamar said the present PPP-led coalition government had taken those important schemes on fast-track, and it would take around four to five years to complete them.