Governor's murder complicates Pakistan's crisis

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, January 5, 2011
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The assassination of the governor of Pakistan's biggest province in the capital of Islamabad has further complicated the situation in the country which had already been passing through a political crisis.

Police and local people gather at the site where the Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was killed in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, on Jan. 4, 2011. Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was killed Tuesday afternoon by one of his security people in a downtown area of Pakistan's capital Islamabad. [Ahmad Kamal/Xinhua] 

Governor Salman Taseer was murdered at a time when Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani was struggling to save his government after a key coalition partner joined the opposition, reducing parliamentary majority of the ruling Peoples Party.

The main opposition Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday set a nine-point agenda for the support of the government, which analysts said is difficult for the Gilani government to implement.

Sharif gave just three days to the government to say "Yes or No" to his proposals and he also asked the beleaguered prime minister to implement all his conditions in one-and-half a month.

The murder of Governor Salmam Taseer and the political crisis have multiplied the miseries of the government and the situation is emerging a big challenge for the minority government.

The daylight murder of Salman Taseer, also a close friend of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, has raised questions about the security situation and some religious scholars said the incident has once again reflected the fast growing intolerance in Pakistani society.

The killing by a police guard has also raised concern about the elements within the security institutions which is also a new emerging challenge to the government.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that all police guards are thoroughly scrutinized when they are assigned for duties of VVIPs and the killing of the governor by his own police guard has exposed faults in the selection of the security guards.

Statement by the police guard that he killed the governor for showing disrespect to an Islamic law is an eye opener for those religious leaders who are promoting extremism.

The government will have to address the growing tend of extremism and if the trend was not checked in security agencies, then incidents like the murder of the Punjab governor may not be ruled out in the future.

Gilani may get some sigh of relief on political front after the assassination of Punjab governor as the focus will now remain for a while on the debate on circumstances which led to the incident.

But the conditions sent by the main opposition party for the support of Gilani will haunt him in the near future as was reflected in the mode of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif.

Sharif asked for transparent spending of the defense budget, inquiry into the murder of a tribal elder Nawab Akabr Bugti, fair accountability, reduction in fuel prices, accountability of former President Pervez Musharraf, 30 percent decrease in government spending, strengthening of the parliamentary committees, empowering the Election Commission and recovery of loans, which had been written off on political grounds.

Some of the conditions are seem difficult to be implemented in the short period the opposition leader had set, and the failure of Prime Minister Gilani to implement it will push the government to the verge of collapse, analysts said.

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