NA seeks new approach to tackle militancy

Question absence of PM and COAS from House


Rizwan Ghilzai February 02, 2023
NA panel warns NCRC director general to improve his performance. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The lawmakers in the National Assembly on Wednesday urged the authorities concerned to ascertain the causes, circumstances and facts that lead to terrorism, saying security operations now were not an option to deal with militancy.

The lower house session, which was presided over by Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, discussed the Peshawar mosque attack.

Addressing the participants, MNA Mohsin Dawar pointed out that the House was told a day earlier that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir would visit the parliament on Wednesday.

“[I] ask where are they (PM and COAS)?” he questioned.

Dawar noted that a “series of martyrdom” had started in the country and asked why the issue of terrorism was not being resolved despite the “government’s claims” of dealing with the militancy.

Referring to the Peshawar mosque attack, the MNA said that the “seriousness of issue” could be gauged from the fact that Peshawar police had lodged a protest in front of Peshawar Press Club.

“[You can] assess the severity of the matter when your force is compelled to stage a protest.”

He urged the government to take “tough decisions” against terrorists and called for constituting a “truth commission”.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Mufti Abdul Shakoor stressed that the government, all political and religious parties, business personalities and institutions should mull over a strategy to counter terrorism, saying “issues will not be resolved through [security] operation”.

He called upon the authorities concerned to ascertain the causes, circumstances and facts that lead to terrorism.

He said Pakistan was a “target” of the world powers, noting that the “war on terror” was “imposed” on the country through a “conspiracy” in which the youth, children, women and security officials were sacrificing their lives.

“The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government was given Rs417 billion in security funds but the provincial government says it does not have resources,” Shakoor said, alleging that Taliban were given money during the tenure of former chief minister Mahmood Khan.

“Terrorists targeted Lakki Marwat the most where the police officials now ‘lock themselves up’ in police stations and check posts,” he added. “This situation is regrettable.”

The religious affairs minister lamented that the ulema who were martyred in the tribal districts were not given the “Shuhada Package”.

Condemning the Peshawar attack, Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Raja Riaz urged the premier to announce financial assistance for the martyrs and injured of the tragedy.

He questioned why terror attacks such as the recent Peshawar and Mianwali were happening again when peace had been established in the country.

He said differentiating the terrorists as “good and bad” was a “big mistake” of the government.

“I want to tell the security institutions that the entire nation with you. We will fight together against them (terrorists) and defeat them.

Federal minister Maulana Asad Mehmood said that terrorism was the result of the past “faulty” policies.

“The law and order and economy will automatically improve if you decide today that the interior and foreign policies will be designed by this House.”

Later, the National Assembly session was adjourned till Friday.

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