Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Thursday pointed fingers at a certain ‘political party’ for its alleged involvement in targeted killings in the Katti Pahari neighbourhood of Karachi.
Speaking on the floor of the house, Malik said, “In response to the allegations by MQM’s Senator Haseeb Khan, I would say on Karachi’s violence: Dekha Jo Teer Kha K Kamin Gah Ki Taraf Apney Hi Doston Se Mulaqat Hogai (When I looked back towards the archers’ camp, I saw many a friendly face there).”
Senator Haseeb had earlier claimed that the government was involved in targeted killings in Karachi and even accused the interior minister of motivating the forces involved in the violence which left 297 people dead within five days.
In his comments, Malik spoke of “certain arrests” that had been made in connection with the Katti Pahari killings but did not identify the suspects who, he said, wanted to sow trouble among political outfits. “Around 154 target killers have been arrested in Karachi, out of them nine were drawn from certain political parties,” he informed the house while acknowledging the existence of political turmoil and sectarianism in Karachi.
The minister requested Senate Deputy Chairman Jan Muhammad Jamali to constitute a high profile committee to probe Karachi’s violence and have an in-camera briefing in the House to know the actual state of affairs.
He also shared that the prime minister had directed him to form a new commission to probe Akbar Bugti’s murder. “Government welcomes dissident Balochs who are ready to respect Pakistani’s flag to discuss all issues,” he added.
Changes in Anti Terrorism Act
Malik sought the prime minister’s help to bring changes in the Anti Terrorism Act to make the laws strict so that terrorists could not get bail from the courts easily. “We acknowledged there were lacunas in the law that they must be removed,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2011.