Islamabad: The microphone of senior PPP leader Farhatullah Babar was switched off in the Senate on Friday after he said the silence of the armed forces on Pervez Musharraf`s assertion of enjoying military support gave the impression that the army was clandestinely backing him.
Nayyar Bokhari, the Chairman of the Senate or upper house of parliament, ordered the switching off of the microphone and said Babar could not make such remarks, said a report on the website of the Dawn newspaper.
Babar also said he had expected the military`s media arm to comment on Musharraf`s statement as it had done on Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawar Hasan`s comments referring to slain Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud as a "martyr" but it had remained silent.
Besides being a senior leader of the Pakistan People`s Party (PPP), Babar has served as spokesman for former President Asif Ali Zardari and slain former premier Benazir Bhutto. He has been an outspoken critic of the military.
Raja Zafarul Haq of the ruling PML-N said the Defence Ministry had given an explanation about Musharraf?s statement and the military`s media arm was not obliged to respond to every statement.
Awami National Party leader Haji Adeel said the government was more concerned about Musharraf`s trial for treason than about talks with the Taliban.