Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah has welcomed the security crackdown in parts of Punjab in the wake of Lahore blast, claiming the province was a breeding ground of terrorism.
“I have been saying this for years but nobody was paying heed to my calls,” the senior Pakistan Peoples Party leader said in a statement released on Monday. “It is because of government’s negligence that terrorism has yet to be eradicated.”
Shah said militancy could not be curbed unless the government abandoned its politics of right and left. Not only innocent lives have been lost but the sanctity of parliament and the Supreme Court has also been hurt by the government just to garner the support of right-wingers, he added.
The opposition leader appreciated the action of law enforcement agencies and security forces in Punjab, voicing hope that “terrorism will be rooted out from the province as well”.
He added that had the government taken timely action against the people behind the Iqbal Town blasts of 2009, the Gushan-e-Iqbal blast would not have happened.
Shah said terrorists were enemies of the country, Islam and peace and could only be eliminated with the nation’s collective efforts.
Five representatives of the PPP in the National Assembly also submitted an adjournment motion in the secretariat over the “failure” of the government to handle the ongoing sit-in in favour of Mumtaz Qadri in Islamabad. Shazia Marri, Nafisa Shah, Mir Aijaz Jakhrani, Ghulam Mustafa Shah and Makhdoom Mustafa Mehmood submitted the adjournment motion.
“We demand the immediate attention of the government, especially the interior minister, towards the deteriorating law and order situation in the country in general and in the federal capital in particular,” the motion stated.
The PPP leaders claimed the situation posed a serious threat to the life and property of people living in Islamabad and its adjacent areas. “Life in the capital city has been brought to a standstill due to the sheer negligence of the government, which has been unable to maintain law and order,” the resolution stated.
The lawmakers criticised the government on its failure to make sufficient security arrangements despite knowing the magnitude of the protest. “Such security lapses on the part of the government are highly intolerable and need to be questioned,” they wrote, demanding immediate attention to the sensitive matter.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2016.