Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday said he would personally supervise the inquiry into the killing of a young student by Rangers’ personnel, but advised some overwhelmed opposition lawmakers not to blame ‘state institutions’ for the actions of ‘some individuals’.
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, he said that the entire nation was ‘shocked and horrified’ by the gruesome incident and vowed he would personally make sure that the culprits are punished.
But, in the same breath, the premier urged opposition parliamentarians not to ‘lose their temper’ or use ‘indecent language’ against national institutions.
“We should remain within our limits,” Gilani said.
Earlier, members of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ignored an ongoing debate on the national budget to condemn the incident.
Khwaja Saad Rafique and Makhdoom Javed Hashmi were among those who vented their anger in fiery speeches amid a bout of loud desk thumping.
Hashmi reminded a captivated assembly of their individual and collective responsibilities and said: “What was that boy’s fault? Was it that he was a citizen of Pakistan?” said Hashmi, adding: “My heart weeps today over the killing of innocent citizens of Pakistan at the hands of their own security forces.”
He said it was second such incident, after Kharotabad, a few days ago where people were indiscriminately killed by security personnel.
Hashmi’s colleague Khwaja Saad Rafique, however, was a lot harsher – particularly on the Rangers and Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
He said while the Director-General (DG) Rangers of Sindh should have resigned over the incident, the interior minister tried to bail out the Rangers’ officials.
“Instead of condemning the incident, the interior minister was trying to bail out the Rangers’ personnel, saying that the boy had grabbed the Rangers’ gun,” said Rafique.
He added that “these terrorists-in-uniform (Rangers) should be given proper training in public handling”.
He demanded that the Rangers personnel be tried in an anti-terrorism court and that the case be decided in 30 days.
The two opposition leaders were then joined by some members from the treasury benches as well. Akhundzada Chitan, Sumsam Bukhari of the PPP and Sheikh Waqas Akram of the PML-Q condemned the vicious killing.
Bukhari said the interior minister was caught “lying on TV” as anyone could clearly see that the boy was begging for mercy before he was shot, and (was) not trying to hold the gun”, but trying to stop being fired at.
Akram went a step ahead: “The Rangers personnel concerned should be summarily shot.” He was supported by Maulana Attaur Rehman of JUI-F. They also called for a transparent inquiry into the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2011.
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