KARACHI: After struggling to give answers to Supreme Court judges, police officials have been summoned by the lawmakers to explain Karachi’s ongoing streak of violence.
On Monday, the Sindh Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution summoning the Sindh IGP and additional IGP to brief the house on Wednesday. Apart from Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Ghulam Mujadid Isran, who moved the resolution, a majority of the lawmakers from the ruling PPP demanded the police expose the real culprits behind Karachi’s unrest. “As legislators, we are unaware as to who is involved in targeted killings in Karachi and what the police are doing to deal with the situation,” said Isran.
Not only the PPP, but its coalition partner the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) demanded that media personnel or any other officials not summoned by the house should not be allowed to attend the session. “In this sitting, the members are prohibited from disclosing any information on the briefing and no one will even take notes,” announced PPP parliamentary leader Pir Mazharul Haq. “It is high time we expose those elements who are always trying to defame the democratic government.”
A question-answer session will be held after the briefing and the debates on the issue will start from Thursday.
MQM’s Faisal Subzwari was worried about the confidentiality of the briefing. “We should make a strategy so that the details are not disclosed,” he suggested. This strategy should be formed after consulting all parliamentary leaders, he added.
Agreeing with the suggestion, Haq went on to quote the rules and procedures of the Sindh Assembly. He clarified that no one will be allowed inside the session. Acting speaker Shehla Raza asked the lawmakers if they wanted Thursday’s debates to be in-camera as well, but it was decided that the media will be allowed for the debates.
Earlier, culture minister Sassui Palijo appreciated the resolution to summon police officials. “I think more than 400 policemen are involved in criminal activities,” she said. Public Accounts Committee chairperson Jam Tamachi Unar recommended calling Rangers’ officials as well. However, law minister Ayaz Soomro disagreed, given that Rangers’ are not a civilian force. He also added that the involvement of these 400 policemen has yet to be confirmed.
Pakistan Muslim League - Functional’s Nusrat Saher Abbasi also appreciated the call for a briefing. “We must get to the bottom of the Karachi situation. We want to know who is killing innocent people and who runs the home ministry in the province.”
During Monday’s session, three other resolutions were also adopted. In a joint resolution, MQM MPAs Adil Siddiqui, Bilqees Mukhtiar, Rifat Khan, Heer Soho, Muhammad Muzammil Qureshi, Wasim Ahmed and Naheed Begum requested the government award Nishan-e-Pakistan to their slain colleagues, Syed Raza Haider and Syed Manzar Imam.
In another joint resolution, most MPAs of the ruling and opposition parties paid tribute to women in Sindh and demanded the government take measures to improve their status by providing equal education and economic opportunities.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2013.