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I did not get votes in Musharraf’s name, says MNA

Iftikhar Uddin

Shahzada Iftikharuddin

Zulfiqar Ahmad

ISLAMABAD, June 25: The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) lone-member National Assembly from Chitral Shahzada Iftikharuddin remained silent when all political parties under pressure from an overactive judiciary vowed to try Musharraf for treason on Monday.

The prince, son of a former political heavyweight from Chitral, who tactfully used the name of Gen Musharraf to make his way to the dark power corridors, is now behaving like a blindfolded pigeon in front of  a hungry cat. In a telephonic interview with, Mr Iftikhar, blatantly negated the overwhelming emotions of Chitarlis, saying 75 per cent people voted against Musharraf in the May 11 general elections. In his politically woven argument, Mr Iftikhar quickly substantiated his claim that other political parties such as Jamat-e-Islami, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Paksiatn People’s Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam etc also managed to bag enough votes which showed a clear division of ideology.

To a question of his inability to raise voice for Musharraf as he was the only legislator representing the APML, he came out with an interesting reply: “I did not get a chance to speak as I arrived in the house after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had vented his anger against Musharraf.” He added: “I was a bit late in the session on Monday…when I reached there Nawaz Sharif had already spoken his heart out. Then Mehmood Khan Achakzai took the floor, followed by Khursheed Ahmed Shah, Sheikh Rashid and Ijazul Haq…then there was a break [and] afterwards the budget debate started [and] I got no chance,” he added.

The energetic prince went on to say that he was fully charged to vent his anger, adding he had made up his mind to speak on a appoint of order despite knowing 99.9 per cent legislators were against Musharraf. “But then he felt spiting venom like an infuriated cobra would cost Chitral dearly.” Another reason for his inability to speak on the floor of the house, Mr Iftikhar took great pride in, was his claim of quadrupling the allocation for the Lowari tunnel  from of Rs1 to 4 billion.

He said federal minister for finance Ishaq Dar and minister for planning and development Ahsan Iqbal had assured him to extend all-out support for the tunnel. He continued that the overwhelming majority, both inside and outside parliament, was against Musharraf and making any hue and cry through protest demonstrations in Chitral or in the parliament will make no difference as the heydays of Musharraf were long over.

“I’ve seen how Musharraf is going through the agony at his Chak Shehzad farmhouse due to house arrest…even then I’ll see him and seek his guidance what I should do as a member of parliament,” he maintained. When insisted that he should have at least protested, he said if he did his backward constituency would not be able to fetch a single penny during the coming five years. “At this stage, we have two choices either to do something for the people of Chitral by extending support to the government or go back to have a comfortable summer in Chitral and wait for another five years,” he added.

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