Posted by: Rehan Today | March 16, 2010

My statement was taken out of context: CM Punjab

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif

LAHORE: In a clarification on Monday, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that his statement regarding Taliban sparing Punjab from attacks had been taken out of context.

Shahbaz’s clarification came after widespread condemnation by various political parties and some very harsh words from the Punjab governor. Ministers Bashir Bilour of the ANP, and the MQM’s Faisal Sabzwari also expressed shock and dismay and said that the CM should not have singled out Punjab.

Speaking at a seminar on Sunday Shahbaz had said, “Gen Musharraf planned a bloodbath of innocent Muslims at the behest of others only to prolong his rule, but we in the PML-N opposed his policies and rejected dictation from abroad and if the Taliban are also fighting for the same cause then they should not carry out acts of terror in Punjab (where the PML-N is ruling).”

However, Shahbaz now stated that his remarks were misinterpreted and taken out of context. He said that he had always spoken in support of all victims of terror, especially the people of NWFP who were bearing the brunt of the terrorist attacks in the country.

Earlier Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer lashed out at Sharif for making a ‘highly irresponsible statement that had disturbed the entire country.’

Reacting strongly to Shahbaz’s statement in Jamia Naeemia on Sunday, Taseer said that Punjab had been embarrassed, and that such statements will only embolden Sipah-e-Sahaba and the Taliban.

Taseer alleged that the federal government is in the dark about safe houses and alleged that they were being run by Punjab Law Minister, Rana Sanaullah.

He said that with the entire country facing the threat of terror, Shahbaz has indirectly pledged support for Taliban by saying they should not target Punjab, thereby creating a negative distinction with the rest of the country.

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