Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Friday indicated that a ‘third-force’ was behind the target killing of Balochistan MPA Mir Bakhtiar Khan Domki’s wife and 13-year-old daughter in Karachi.
The victims were also Balochistan Republican Party (BRP) chief Brahamdagh Bugti’s sister and niece, and Nawab Akbar Bugti’s family members.
“Such incidents will subvert the reconciliatory process with the dissident Baloch leaders,” Malik told lawmakers during Friday’s Senate session, without elaborating on the ‘third-force’. “It is a conspiracy against the nation,” he added.
He was speaking on a point raised by Pakistan People Party senator Sabir Baloch on the killing of Domki’s wife and daughter, which took place in the Gizri area of Karachi.
Malik said that the government has constituted a high-powered committee consisting of two members each from Provincial Assemblies of Balochistan and Sindh. An additional Inspector General of the Police will head the committee, which will also include representatives of the Inter Services Intelligence and the Intelligence Bureau.
“I also took Domki into confidence over the issue,” Malik informed the lawmakers in Senate.
“We are heading towards some clues, leading towards mysterious hands,” he added.
Substandard drug issue
The interior minister also informed lawmakers that following the PIC drug debacle, which left over 100 people dead, the government has put the names of all accused drug dealers on the Exit Control List. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is also investigating the matter and will submit its report soon. “The matter is sub judice; let the law take its course first,” Malik said.
Federal Minister for Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain was of the view that the issue was being politicised, and informed the House that the country was importing drugs worth $1.2 billion, annually.
Resolution on Drug Regulatory Authority
Senate Chairman Farooq H Naek agreed in principle to suspend the rules to allow lawmakers to move a resolution calling for the establishment of the Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA). Lawmakers across party lines, especially Haji Adeel of the Awami National Party, expressed their wish to table a resolution pertaining to a regulatory body to cope with such issues.
“A quality control mechanism must be put in place to prevent recurrence of such incidents in the future,” he said.
Lawmakers from the opposition and the treasury benches spoke out against the recent hike in the prices of petroleum products. Muttahida Qaumi Movement Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi said the increase had started showing its impact with the increase in transport fares as well as the prices of edible items. “How much will you fleece the people?” he asked.
Senator Zahid Khan of ANP was also of the view that the government should reconsider fuel prices.
Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Professor Khurshid Ahmed expressed concern over the non-implementation of Parliament’s recommendations pertaining to the issue of drone strikes. The government’s failure to control such attacks has forced the poor people to come out on the streets against the rulers, he observed.
State Bank of Pakistan report
As soon as Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh presented the State Bank of Pakistan report before the House, Prof Khurshid raised objections, saying that under the law the report should first come to Parliament.
The finance minister assured it will not happen again.
Privileges for former lawmakers
Law Minister Maula Bux Chandio informed lawmakers that Premier Gilani has approved a summary proposing privileges for former parliamentarians. He said that former parliamentarians will be able to use VIP lounges at airports and get access to the libraries of the two houses.
The House will meet again on Monday at 4pm.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2012.