The Punjab chief minister’s unique idea of offering an olive branch to the Taliban and in return demanding amnesty for Punjab from their terror spree was not at all a precipitous act but a well-thought out deliberation.
The CM’s political advisers did not own architecting his harangue at Jamia Naeemia and declared it a brainchild of the newly-appointed media manager who was not aware of the statement’s political repercussions. He alleged that some circles had twisted his remarks, but it was not his official statement, which could be garbled or have a typo error, but his articulated verbal axioms.
A ‘gentleman’ in his media team called it a routine colloquial speech as politicians often made such mistakes and the media had taken it otherwise. His arguments were that the speech was not at all well-versed or well-thought and the media should take it as a routine matter. If the CM had a lackadaisical approach on such an issue then, then it is a more serious issue.
In fact, such approach corroborates the stances of the MQM, ANP and PPP that the Punjab chief minister had prompted the Taliban to choose the rest of Pakistan and ignore Punjab.
The clarification issued by the CM is further complicating the situation. Instead of wobbling on the said speech and making different justifications, it would have been better if the CM’s media team and not himself had corrected his remarks with the condition “if it hurts someone’s feelings”. But we justify our blunders instead of retreating or admitting errors. It requires a lot of courage to act like a human being as only humans accept their mistakes.
In the words of Rabindranath Tagore, “If you shut your door to all errors, truth will be shut out.”
Luckily, the CM had only one voice in his favour and that was PML-N Secretary General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra. While defending Shabaz Sharif, he said, being Punjab’s chief minister, Shahbaz’s appeal to the Taliban for sparing Punjab was justified. He claimed that his reaction would have been the same if it was NWFP Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti. I believe his remarks will lead to further controversies in the NWFP.
They never accept foreign dictation or desired to meet the American or the British. It was US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher who first requested to meet Nawaz Sharif, which they accepted with the condition that the venue would be Raiwind.
If Shahbaz had expressed some sympathy with the Taliban’s ideology, it doesn’t mean he supports their extremism. To a query on why the PML-N never condemned the Taliban and always came up with ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, he argued that every Taliban is not an extremist and the world should differentiate between good and bad Taliban.
There were reports that the army chief in his meeting with Shabaz had also expressed concern over his remarks on the Taliban. The CM’s media team is trying hard to win some favour for their boss or undo the damage caused by his statement, which is complicating the situation even more. The only remedy is to advise the CM to admit his mistake if apologising hurts his ego.
Source: Daily Times