Senators from both the ruling alliance and opposition strongly condemned the brutal Domki family killings and collectively called for an early arrest of the assassins and the masterminds involved in the crime.
Wednesday’s Senate proceedings witnessed the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stage a walkout from the upper house in protest.
Senator Shahid Bugti raised the issue on a point of order and condemned the killings of Mir Bakhtiar Domki’s wife and daughter, who, he said, were deliberately gunned down when they were retuning home after attending his son Shahid Bugti’s wedding ceremony.
“In our Pakhtun and Baloch culture, even during battles, women and children were never targeted but this incident is indeed a target killing incident since they had no enmity with anyone,” said Bugti.
JI’s Senator Prof Khursheed Ahmad also strongly condemned the killings and termed it a “dreadful act” and pressed for immediate arrest of the murderers. He said: “Keeping in view the situation of Balochistan, time has come to work collectively to bring peace and stability there.”
Zahid Khan of ANP said that situation in Balochistan was getting out of control and far sighted policies should be formulated to placate the situation.
MQM’s Sherala Malik, PML-Q’s Naeem Hussain Chatta, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Abdul Nabi Bangash, Haji Adeel, SM Zafar, Sabir Baloch, Kalsoom Parveen, Seemi Sadiqi, Maulana Saleh Shah, Najma Hameed and Haroon Akhtar also joined the chorus and condemned the incident collectively.
Earlier during the question hour, Minister for Defence Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar told the upper house that Pakistan International Airline (PIA) has suffered financial losses of Rs1.8 billion due to the four-day protest by its pilots.
Through a written reply to a question, the defence minister said that 56,082 passengers were affected directly and 451 flights were cancelled.
At the start of the proceedings, Leader of the House Nayyer Hussain Bukhari laid the annual report of the National Economic Council for the financial year 2010-11 before the house.
‘Extra tax’ on urea
The government is generating millions of rupees by charging “extra tax” (cess) on urea commodities in Bajaur Agency, the upper house was informed.
“Over Rs17 million were collected on sugar and urea by imposing extra tax [cess] in Bajur Agency during the last ten years,” revealed Minister for States and Frontier Regions Engineer Shaukatullah.
Lawmakers belonging to both the ruling alliance and opposition demanded the government should waive off this extra levy for free movement of commodities in tribal areas to promote business.
Federal Minister for Railways Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said: “The financial crisis has pushed Pakistan Railways into a blind alley from where we can not improve its infrastructure.”
‘Mismanagement’ resulted in accumulation of deferred track maintenance in railways due to which the track infrastructure is generally not satisfactory, he said. Bilour was replying to a query by JUI-F senator Talha Mahmood. “Our railway track is not in line with international fast track classifications,” Bilour said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2012.