The death of 13 people following an attack on a peace rally prompted the federal cabinet on Wednesday to constitute a special four-member committee to look into the law and order situation in Sindh, and particularly this incident.
The cabinet also formed another special committee to look into security issues in Balochistan.
The committee for Sindh will be headed by federal minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim and include Maula Bukhsh Chandio, Naveed Qamar and Khursheed Shah. The committee members will hold meetings with Sindhi nationalist party leaders to address their concerns over a prospective Mohajir province.
The committee on Balochistan will be headed by Law Minister Farooq H Naek. The prime minister, chairing the session, directed both committees to present their recommendations at the next cabinet meeting.
Later, in a separate meeting, Interior Minister Rehman Malik briefed Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on the situation in Karachi following Tuesday’s attack. The premier directed Malik and all federal agencies to track down the culprits and bring them to justice.
Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Sheikh gave a presentation to the cabinet on the energy situation in the country and the premier directed the law ministry to draft necessary legislation to deal severely with issues of power theft and defaulters.
Sources said that Mian Manzoor Wattoo suggested that CNG stations should be shut down for three months to tackle the gas crisis which is causing severe damage to the industries.
The cabinet congratulated the president on his ‘successful’ participation in the Nato Summit in Chicago and expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the visit of the Turkish prime minister to Pakistan.
The cabinet also reviewed the implementation status of its various decisions.
The meeting was informed that 67% of decisions pertaining to States and Frontier Regions Division and 84% of those pertaining to the Board of Investment have already been implemented.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira dispelled the impression that ministers belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement had boycotted the cabinet meeting, and said they had some engagements in Karachi.
He also insisted that “reopening” of NAB references against the Sharifs was not “political victimisation” since the references were originally submitted under former president Pervez Musharraf’s regime.
“The Sharif brothers should not be afraid of facing the courts … they are the luckiest in Pakistan who always received justice in time,” Kaira said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.
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