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The new controversy.

Though March 20 passed away quietly, COP Chief, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi harps on old tunes and declares that Benazir is no more Prime Minister after this date. A reference in this regard is likely to be filed in Supreme Court by the COP. Government circles have already ruled out the possibility of Prime Minister's fresh election. Mr. Mohammad Yaqub Ali Khan, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court reiterated that Prime Minister was under no such obligation and once she has obtained a vote of confidence it was for a period of five years. Under article 52 of the Constitution, the National Assembly, unless sooner dissolved, was elected for a period of five years from the date of its first meeting. Justice Yaqub further said that in the case of Haji Saifullah the Supreme Court had not revived the National Assembly although it had held the dissolution illegal. Once the elections had been held the Assembly had a right to complete its tenure and the election of Prime Minister and President would also hold good for the same period.

The controversy has lost its weight after the victory of PPP candidate at NA-99 seat in the by-elections. PPP graph of achievements is going up and up. PP regime has successfully concluded deals in regard to nuclear power project with China and France. It has also finalised details in regard to setting up the biggest power plant at Hub River in the private sector. Differences between Ghulam Ishaq Khan and the COP have been surfaced in the meantime. Infights in COP component parties are reaching breaking points. Conflict between Junejo and Gen. Fazle Haq is still unresolved. Pagara insists to remove Nawaz Sharif from the Presidentship of Punjab Muslim League in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan Muslim League as Nawaz Sharif is holding the portfolio of Punjab Chief Minister. Awami National Party has also been bifurcated. COP has no visible agenda except to oust Benazir. The last opposition meeting on March 23 at Minar-e-Pakistan was under the banner of Pakistan Muslim League and not COP. The conspicuous absence in this meeting was of Mr. Jatoi.

All Parties Conference

Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has convened a conference of All Parties outside the parliament on Kashmir issue. It is significant that government and 16 political parties reached a broad based consensus on handling Kashmir issue. Political circles believe that the successful conference had alienated the opposition forces inside and outside the parliament and proved to be a moral booster for the Prime Minister who is building bridges with the forces of democracy through consultation and dialogue. Junejo stayed away from the conference on the ground that parties within the parliament should have been invited, which was a very weak stand particularly when it was a common national cause.

Kashmir

Benazir Bhutto got a tumultuous welcome in Azad Jammu and Kashmir by its people and the Government. The uprising in the occupied Kashmir is in consonance with international wave which has swept the Eastern Europe and other parts of the world. Indian stand on Kashmir has been exposed and the Inaian allegation of Pakistanis alleged involvement in the people's militant struggle in held Kashmir has gone unnoticed by the international community. Total collapse of government authority in the occupied land has virtually snapped all political links between India and held Kashmir where a reign of terror has been let loose. The stronger the repression, the sharper the people's struggle. Arrests, killings and all other oppressive methods have virtually turned that part of the proverbial "Paradise on Earth" into a horrific valley of death, the hideous face of which has been blocked to the outside world by the total ban on international media coverage.

In 1947-48 Pakistan and India fought a full scale war over Kashmir. India gave an international pledge to hold a plebiscite in the Kashmir valley. Another war was fought in 1965. War in 1971 split Pakistanh into two and a new nation Bangladesh came into being with the help of Indian arms intervention. In 1972 Simla Agreement was signed and this was followed by a long lull on the Kashmir front. However, recently the uprising has a different tone. It is for the freedom from Indian occupation. Kashmiris now want an independent state. India cannot constantly keep Kashmir under curfew. A governor rule is in force. Kashmir is ready to explode. If war came as a consequence, it would also involve China, India would probably suffer heavy defeats, in the opening weeks. Though it could recover to fight Pakistan and China in Tibet, there was, however, the probability that the first defeats would lead to a capitulation by the Indian Government and people. Indian may sue for peace instead of fighting on, and the way would be open for yet another disintegration of India.

In 1990 certain things have changed. Three of the four divisions in Sri Lanka of Indian army are back. The Chinese have stood down in Tibet. Today India would have the initiative, something that could be crucial in the opening phase of a conflict. But the overall situation is worse. Many more divisions will be required to hold down the civilian populations in Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir. China will return to the arena, ensuring a long and bitter conflict. Iran is now free to aid Pakistan. U.S.A. has fully supported Pakistanis stand. The strength of the Indian forces has been affected dur to money diverted to Sri Lanka and financial stringency. India is a giant with feet of clay. For this reason, India would not go for war on Kashmir issue with Pakistan come what may. The war would cost Rs. 5 to 6 billion per day and both India and Pakistan are not in a position to afford this heavy expenditure.

Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has refuted the India's stand on Kashmir. First the Indian contention that Pakistan has no right to "interfere" in the Kashmir issue, stands contradicted by the very fact that the issue is very much there, though in cold storage, with the United Nations. It was India that took the dispute to the United Nations, making Pakistan a party. By wriggling out of its commitment to hold a plebiscite, and insisting that the chapter is closed, India can convince neither the United Nations nor the world at large that Pakistan has nothing to do with the dispute. If one party to a dispute backs out of its commitment it does not mean that dispute comes to an end. All the more so at a time when the people of the India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir are engaged in life-and-death struggle against the usurper. And whatever freak of a link between India and Held Kashmir that was there has since been snapped. So much so that, as pointed out by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Mr. V.P. Singh dare not set his foot on the soil of Held Kashmir to demonstrate the same popular fervor as evidenced on her visit to Azad Kashmir.
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Title Annotation:Pakistan People's Party's election and nuclear power projects with China and France and Benazir Bhutto
Author:Haidari, Iqbal
Publication:Economic Review
Date:Mar 1, 1990
Words:1172
Previous Article:Government Sponsored Corporations 1988-89.
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