Interior Minister Rehman Malik faced a difficult moment in the National Assembly on Monday when the aggressive opposition refused to listen to his speech or allow him to talk and Fata legislator, Zafar Baig Bhittani, waved a shoe at him from his seat.
The interior minister was lucky that Zafar Baig Bhittani did not throw the shoe at him and restricted himself only to waving it for a few seconds during the speech of the interiorminister. The opposition had already walked out from the National Assembly after making a loud protest when the Fata member was waving his shoe. However, the minister ignored this and continued making his ‘emotional’ speech.
The Fata legislators, including its Parliamentary leader Munir Khan Orakzai, Zafar Baig Bhittani and Kamran Khan, continued to lodge their protest during the speech of Interior Minister Rehman Malik. He faced the opposition’s wrath when he stood up just after the speech of Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to clarify his position on some remarks made by the opposition leader.
However, the treasury benches lent their complete support to Rehman Malik by thumping desks during his speech; even the prime minister was thumping the desk.
The opposition legislators gathered at the opposition leader’s desk and started raising slogans against the interior minister. The protest was so loud that no one could hear what Malik was saying. This disturbance remained till the opposition’s walkout from the National Assembly.
After the walkout of the opposition from the House, the minister asked that these slogans be expunged from the proceedings of the House, but the deputy speaker did not heed the request.
In his speech, the interior minister defended the Pakistan Army and ISI and advised the opposition not to criticise them. “We were expecting that Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will pay tributes to the Pakistan Army for the sacrifices rendered by its personnel in the war against terror, but he continued to criticise them,” he added.
Rehman Malik, who seemed upset on some remarks by Chaudhry Nisar, said the opposition leader might have the licence to criticise but not the licence to insult. He blamed the top leadership of the PML-N for leaving the country after making a deal with General Pervez Musharraf.
“One the one hand, Nawaz Sharif was negotiating with the United States, and on the other hand, he was negotiating with General Musharraf,” he added. The minister said Osama bin Laden was a terrorist who had attacked our sovereignty and integrity. He said that Osama had tried twice to kill Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.
The interior minister said that all the questions raised by the opposition leader would be answered in an in-camera defence briefing to the joint session of parliament.
He said those who were criticising the government, intelligence agencies and armed forces of Pakistan should realise that no one had asked for the resignation of CIA chief or US president in the backdrop of 9/11.
He acknowledged that the US operation in Abbottabad was against the country’s sovereignty, and they the US should have informed Pakistan prior to launching the operation.
Rehman Malik claimed that the PML-N brought al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Landen (OBL) to Pakistan under a deal and also promoted Kalashnikov culture by giving asylum to Afghan leaders Hikmatyar and Rabbani.
He remarked that the PML-N had become an orphan after the death of Osama bin Laden, adding that a case was pending with thecourt regarding the bribing of the PML-N, and we have evidence of who invited and brought Osama to Pakistan from Sudan, he said.
He claimed that when tickers of the US copter crash appeared on the TV channels, within 15 minutes, he had contacted the Abbottabad DIG, who told him that there were reports of a helicopter crash. He said he immediately asked relevant authorities to investigate since helicopters didn’t usually fly at night.
He said the ISI traced the calls from Haripur and this information was passed on to the United States. He said when the US carried out the operation at the compound, two guards of Osama bin laden who were from Swat were killed. Their names were Rashid and Riaz. After this, the US forces killed Osama.