The upper house of Parliament was deserted on Thursday as both coalition and opposition parties staged walkouts in response to the violence in Karachi and governor’s rule in Balochistan.
On a point of order, Muttahida Qaumi Movement Senator Col (retd) Tahir Hussain Mashadi drew the house’s attention towards the deteriorating law and order situation in the country’s economic capital. Condemning the violence in the city on Thursday, he demanded that the interior minister take “practical steps to ensure security rather than terrorising residents through statements claiming the ministry has credible intelligence on terrorist attacks in Karachi.”
“If you have information about terrorist attacks then you (Rehman Malik) should be able to control them,” he added.
Senator Haji Ghulam Ali of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) lambasted the government over the death of Mufti Abdul Majeed Deenpuri, a top cleric of the Jamia Binoria Uloom Islamia, who became yet another victim in the fresh wave of target killing in Karachi, along with nine other people.
“The government has lost its writ in the urban areas of the country, where killing has become a routine matter,” said the senator. Not a single day goes by when no casualty is reported, he said, adding that Balochistan’s condition was worsening as well despite governor’s rule.
Haji said that governor’s rule in the restive province would also cost the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) dearly, since it packed up a democratically elected government rather than finding a solution to lawlessness.
“There is no respite in Balochistan even after the imposition of Governor Rule, while the situation in Karachi is even worse,” he noted
The senator warned that the move could pave the way for undemocratic forces. He suggested the sit-in protests by the Hazaras and their refusal to bury their dead could have been ‘a conspiracy against democracy’ by anti-Pakistan elements.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Senator Zafar Ali Shah said that under Article 234 of the Constitution, the government still needs to present a decision to impose Governor Rule before a joint sitting of Parliament.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2013.
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