An interesting op-ed by Asadullah Ghalib in which he appeals to the people of Punjab to start a Long March against the politics of horse trading in Punjab.
If Nawaz Sharif is a man of principles, he must not promote the culture of horse trading in Punjab by trying to break up as many members of the PML-Q as he neeeds to form his government in Punjab.
Punjab Governor has asked Pakistan Muslim League-N to lend a hand in abolition of governor's rule through forming a coalition with any other party and warned it against horse-trading.
It may be noted that no party has a majority in Punjab Assembly. The Governor has promised to end governor's rule within 24 hours when any two parties form such a coalition. However, the Governor said, the assembly could be dissolved if horse-trading continues.
If the PML-N wanted an end to governor's rule in Punjab, it must stop horse-trading as that was against the spirit of Charter of Democracy.
Salman Taseer congratulated entire nation and Nawaz Sharif for their efforts for the restoration of the judges. He appreciated Nawaz Sharif for his democratic approach and nationalist politics as he open heartedly announced that PPP government would be allowed to complete five years in rule. The governor said he considered this approach a great change in the larger national interest.
Salman Taseer said that a new era of conciliation at federal level has started as a result of restoration of deposed judges and PPP wanted to settle all issues in Punjab with mutual understanding.
He asked Nawaz Sharif to step forward and bring back the politics to assemblies instead of roads as people were sick of confrontation. He said that both parties had promised in the Charter of Democracy (CoD) to respect the mandate of other parties.
He stressed that Governor Rule could only abolish if any two political parties having strength in Punjab Assembly after a regular alliance presented a combined candidate. He said the parties which wanted to form a government just step forward and make an alliance immediately as it was the only way to end governor's rule.
He said PML-N could form alliance with any political party of its choice.
Responding to the queries of the media persons, he said making forward-blocs in opponent political parties and horse-trading was against democratic norms and the constitution.
He said no MPA has right to defy the faith of masses and could not vote against his party.
Regarding the security and imposition of Section-144 in the province during long march, Salman Taseer said that Punjab government had been advised by the Prime Minister and the President to handle the rallies for long march with a soft hand. That was the reason no rally was tortured or stopped; protesters and participants of the march were not baton charged any where and no detentions were made; and lawyers and political workers were given a free hand. He cited the example of Shahbaz Sharif's public congregation at Gujranwala despite imposition of Section-144. Regarding Lahore tear gas incident at The Mall, the governor said the protesters started pelting stones on Police and they had to fire tear gas in return. He claimed he knew about the movement of Shahbaz Sharif but under the instructions from Islamabad he did permit Shahbaz's free shifting to Islamabad. Salman Taseer asked media men to stop speculating as to his removal as there would be no change of governor in the province and if any such plan would be on cards he himself would inform them about it.