PML-N offices attacked in Pakistan
Last Updated: Monday, October 31, 2011, 00:47
Karachi: Armed men have attacked PML-N offices across Sindh province and burnt alive a party leader two days after the main opposition party staged a major rally against ruling PPP co-chairman and President Asif Ali Zardari.

PML-N offices were ransacked and set on fire in different cities and towns of southern Sindh province, a stronghold of the Pakistan People's Party, late last night, police said.

The armed attackers fired gun sorts in the air, witnesses said. No one was hurt in the attacks as all the offices were closed at the time of the attacks.

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks but PML-N leaders blamed the ruling PPP and its allies for the incidents.

In a separate incident, unidentified men poured petrol on PML-N leader Rana Shaukat and set him alight while he was sleeping at his home at Changa Manga near Kasur in Punjab province early this morning.

Shaukat was found with severe burn injuries by his relatives. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. Shaukat was a relative of Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Mohammed Iqbal.

It could not immediately be ascertained if the attack on Shaukat was linked to the attacks on PML-N offices.

Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Sindh's Home Minister Manzoor Wasan condemned the attacks on PML-N offices in the province and ordered an inquiry.

"These things will not be tolerated or allowed and the culprits will be brought to book. In democracy such intolerant acts are unacceptable," Malik said.

While raking up such populist issues, Khan criticised both the ruling Pakistan People's Party led by President Asif Ali Zardari and the main opposition PML-N led by former premier Nawaz Sharif.

"I pledge that no strength, including Zardari or Nawaz Sharif, can stop this flood. This is not a flood, it is a tsunami. Anyone standing in its way will be swept away," he said.

In a reference to his cricketing days, Khan said: "A terrific in-swinger is on its way, and this will be the first ball that will remove the wickets of two batsmen at the same time.”

Khan gave Zardari and all politicians a "few months" to declare their assets and sources of income. He said his party would set up a special cell to name and shame politicians who had millions of dollars stashed away in foreign banks.

Pledging that the Pakistan Army would never be used against the country's citizens, Khan said his party would roll back military operations in the restive northwest and engage in dialogue, truth and reconciliation to resolve unrest.

He contended that the tribesmen in Pakistan's northwest would be able to end terrorism if the country halted military operations and pulled out of the US-led war on terror.

"Military operations will not lessen extremism and terrorism or give peace a chance...Drone attacks are driving people to extremism," he said.

Khan said his party wanted friendship with all countries, including the US, but would not act as a "slave" for American dollars.

"We will help the US to leave Afghanistan but we will not carry out military operations...We will not beg (for aid) from anyone. We will not beg because there is no respect for beggars," he added.

Khan further said his party would work for the rights of women, including a special drive to educate girls, and the rights of minorities like Christians, Hindus and Sikhs.


First Published: Sunday, October 30, 2011, 15:07

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