Criminal negligence led to Lahore terror attacks, says Shahbaz

April 2nd, 2009 - 3:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Nawaz Sharif Lahore, April 2 (IANS) Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, may be living on borrowed time with Shahbaz Sharif, who has just got back as chief minister, accusing the administration of “criminal negligence” in not being able to prevent two terror attacks here last month.
The province was under governor’s rule at the time of the March 3 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team that claimed the lives of six security personnel and the March 30 assault on the Manawan police academy in which 18 people were killed.

Sharif “opined” during a meeting he chaired Wednesday that “criminal negligence” was shown in providing security to the Sri Lankan team and at the Manawan centre, The News reported Thursday.

“The meeting expressed astonishment and regrets that despite clear evidences of negligence by delinquent officers/officials, no action had been taken against any person,” the newspaper added.

“The meeting observed that not only had precious lives been lost in the two incidents, particularly the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, but the image of Pakistan was also tarnished at the international level,” The News said.

Taseer has been in the eye of a storm ever since his appointment May 2008, seen as a move by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to destabilise Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government and install a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) regime in its place.

That view gained ground when the Supreme Court Feb 25 abruptly cited corruption charges to bar Sharif and his elder brother Nawaz Sharif from contesting elections and holding public office.

Nawaz Sharif publicly accused Zardari of having a hand in the ruling, even as his younger brother was forced to quit office.

Nawaz Sharif then led a high-voltage lawyers’ stir to demand the restoration of the Supreme Court and high court judges whom then president Pervez Musharraf had sacked after declaring an emergency Nov 3, 2007 - and also protest the Supreme Court ruling.

The net effect was that the government not only agreed to reinstate the sacked judges but also to appeal against the apex court ruling.

Given all this, Taseer’s position has become untenable — more so given the fact that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has been repeatedly asserting himself and pushing Zardari into the background.

Gilani had gone on record to oppose the manner in which Shahbaz Sharif had been forced to step down.

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