ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Interior on Wednesday expressed concern over the construction of a firing range in the US embassy and directed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman to present a map of the embassy along with permission for the specialized facility.
“The country’s sovereignty could never be compromised. Construction of a training centre and a firing range by any embassy is a serious issue,” said the committee’s chairman Senator Abdur Rehman Malik.
He asked the interior and foreign affair ministries to give a briefing on the matter in the next meeting while also directing the CDA to present a map of the US embassy and permission for the construction.
The committee also called upon international community and the United Nations secretary general to take immediate notice of terrorist activities of Da’ish in South Asia and adopt measures to block its further expansion well on time.
The meeting also condemned the barbaric and inhuman terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on eve of Easter Sunday that killed about 320 innocent people. In a resolution, committee expressed deepest grief and sorrow over loss of innocent lives and extended heartfelt sympathies to the victims’ families.
The committee observed one minute silence to commemorate Sri Lanka attacks victims. The committee also condemned cowardly terrorist attack at Makran Coastal Highway, Balochistan and prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls.
Malik said terrorist activities in the province had been conducted in a pre-planned manner. He asked the government to ensure security of all important places within the country. “The committee would soon seek a briefing on the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Interior Minister Brigadier Ijaz Shah said Pakistan’s relations with the neighbouring countries must be cordial and no government could be blamed for terrorism. He said the recent wave of terrorism in Pakistan and the region is distressful.
He said terrorism is a sensitive matter and he would give an in-camera briefing to the members of the committee as a responsible government official. “Relations with all neighbours are important and anything in this regard must be said carefully. India is our neighbour and this fact cannot be changed.
A sub-committee, to be chaired by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed, was also constituted to prepare a report on issues of people pertaining to passport and also the department. Earlier, Immigration and Passport Director General Ishrat Ali briefed the committee on its performance.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Interior Ijaz Shah, Secretary Interior Major (retd) Azam Suleman Khan, Senators Javed Abbasi, Rana Maqbool, Shehzad Waseem, Sheikh Ateeq and Momin Khan Afridi, Mayor Islamabad and senior officials of Interior Ministry and attached departments.
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM APP