The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, supported by other opposition parties, urged the government on Wednesday to summon the chief of the country’s premier intelligence agency along with heads of all law-enforcement agencies to a special briefing session to ‘unearth the hands that have rekindled violence in Karachi.’
“(They should) tell us who is involved in creating this madness in Karachi. If the law-enforcement agencies do not know, they should be sent packing, instead of spending billions of rupees on them,” said PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal.
He also urged the police, Rangers and other security officials to divulge if any political party was involved in it and if it was stopping them from doing their work.
Supported by opposition benches, Iqbal gave a two-day deadline for holding the parliamentary session.
Stressing the need for the formation of a committee to review the Karachi situation, he said: “Allow parliament to take on the responsibility for maintaining security in Karachi as the government has failed to deliver in this regard,” said the PML-N’s deputy secretary-general.
Iqbal said that 1,139 people had been killed over the past few months, adding that 250 of them, who were in no way related to any political party, had been killed in incidents of targeted killings.
(Read: Violence continues in Karachi; 200 killed in July)
Censuring the prime minister and the president for not taking any concrete measures to address the law and order in Karachi, PML-N veteran leader Makhdoom Javed Hashmi endorsed Iqbal’s views and said: “I beg the prime minister not to take notice of the deteriorating situation in Karachi. When he took notice of the situation two dozen times earlier, it resulted in killing of 1,500 people.”
Referring to a meeting chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari at Bilawal House in Karachi, Iqbal said that the meeting had been convened to discuss Karachi’s law and order situation, but paradoxically decided that “PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari would contest elections from Lyari”.
Javed Hashmi urged national level politicians to evolve a joint strategy in this regard and said: “The government has utterly failed in addressing problems being faced by the masses.” Hashmi grilled the prime minister, saying that he has done nothing except delivering statements to address the issues of people.
“Had Karachi been Pakistan’s capital, the city’s law and order situation would have been much better,” he said, adding that Karachi was a huge city, which needed more resources as well.
“Karachi should be given (access to) resources as if it were a country”, he added.
Hashmi said that the country’s population was increasing at a rapid pace, adding that there was an urgent need to create new provinces. “They are more manageable.”
Assuring the government of his party’s support, he said that if it carved out more provinces to facilitate good governance and the move was not part of just a political stunt. “There is room for at least three or four provinces in Punjab”.
Meanwhile, Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour said that arms should completely be purged from Karachi, adding that the Sindh metropolis should be handed over to the army for at least a month.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2011.
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