Coalition decides to sit on the fence in Riaz-Arsalan issue


The heads of allied parties late on Wednesday night carefully examined the situation emerging after media statements made by real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain against Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and his son, Arsalan Iftikhar, and decided not to comment in public and media over the issue.
The meeting was held at the Presidency with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the chair. “The meeting also discussed and reviewed the latest developments that have taken place in the country during the week,” spokesperson to the president Senator Farhatullah Babar told reporters.
The meeting was attended by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Haji Adeel Ahmed Khan, Afrasiab Khattak, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Babar Khan Ghouri, Mir Israrullah Zehri, Abbas Khan Afridi and Munir Khan Orakzai.
The meeting discussed coalition matters and the current situation in the country. The president briefed the meeting on his visit to Beijing for participation in the SCO Summit and his bilateral meetings with the presidents of Iran, Afghanistan and China. The president said Pakistan had offered to host an international conference of the SCO countries on narcotics. He said that he would soon be visiting Saint Petersburg to meet the Russian leadership. The prime minister briefed the meeting on his visit to Quetta and various steps taken to redress the grievances of the people of Balochistan. He also briefed the coalition partners on the budget and the circumstance in which the budget was presented, highlighting its salient features. The coalition partners felicitated the prime minister on presenting the fifth record budget. They also called the budget balanced and responsible under the prevailing circumstances.