Assembly session: K-P demands immediate end to US drone strikes

Published: August 28, 2012
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"The reaction to the
speculated military
operation in North
Waziristan would
prove more futile
than that of the Lal
Masjid operation in
Islamabad,"
MPA Akram Khan Durrani.

"The reaction to the speculated military operation in North Waziristan would prove more futile than that of the Lal Masjid operation in Islamabad," MPA Akram Khan Durrani.

PESHAWAR: 

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) assembly has asked the federal government to devise a solution to immediately end drone attacks in the country.

In Monday’s session, parliamentarians mostly debated the pros and cons of the attacks and offered joint prayers for those killed in the US strikes.

Speaker Kiramatullah Khan asked parliamentary leaders of the opposition and treasury benches to draft a joint resolution against drone strikes, if they deemed it appropriate.

“Drone attacks turn more people towards terrorism and are largely resented by everyone in the country,” said Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) deputy parliamentary leader Nighat Orakzai.

She further demanded a separate province called ‘Qabailistan’ for the people of the six frontier regions and seven agencies, all named under Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Orakzai added that people from Fata should be given a separate administration as they are not adequately represented in domestic politics of Pakistan. “I will present a resolution for a separate province for tribal people in the near future,” she told the house.

Opposition Leader Akram Khan Durrani asked the house to pass a joint resolution against drone attacks, mentioning that the strikes were not only killing innocent tribal people but also creating illnesses, poisoning local water supplies and destroying local orchards. “The reaction to the speculated military operation in North Waziristan would prove more futile than that of the Lal Masjid operation in Islamabad,” he said.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MPA Abdul Akbar Khan said that if such a resolution is brought to the assembly floor, his party will be ready to support it. The PPP leader also reminded the session that both the upper and lower houses of the federal government had already passed a resolution opposing US air strikes in the country.

Awami National Party’s (ANP) Bashir Bilour said drone strikes were against the sovereignty of Pakistan and cannot be permissible. Bilour said that the ANP also opposed the killing of Pakistanis by their own people, such as the attack on Kamra air base attack by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakisan (TTP) in Ramazan.

Members also called attention to the fact that the secretary and special secretary of the establishment department were not attending committee meetings despite receiving reminders. Noor Sahar, standing committee chairperson, said that the establishment department was breaching the privilege of house members.  MPAs Syed Jafar Shah, Asif Bhatti and Law Minister Arshad Abdullah also seconded Sahar.

Later, Abdullah presented the K-P Emergency Rescue Service Ordinance 2012, Borstal Institutions Bill 2012, Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) (Amendment) Bill 2012, Apprenticeship (Amendment) Bill 2012, and the Audit Report on the accounts of 24 districts governments of K-P for the year 2011-12 to the house, which the speaker ruled as stand
introduced after receiving house ayes.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2012.

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