ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday adopted a unanimous resolution that asks the government to take ‘pragmatic steps’ in order to control target killings in parts of the country, especially Karachi.
The resolution, that the government preferred not to oppose, was moved to the house by five members of the opposition party the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
“I wonder why the government is unable to control target killings taking place everywhere in the country and till how long will they continue?” asked co-mover MNA Shireen Arshad Khan.
Other movers asked the government to apprehend and punish those involved in what they termed a crime against humanity and the nation.
Later, Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the house that law enforcement agencies were making headway in detecting and arresting criminals involved in target killings in Karachi and Quetta. Malik, however, did not give any specific details.
Nato strikes inside Pakistan
Malik said the government has lodged a protest with the leaders of international forces stationed in Afghanistan for an attack they launched inside Pakistan’s tribal belt over this weekend in which close to 50 people were killed.
“The government is fully aware of what is happening and will not allow any other force to infringe on our borders,” Malik said in response to a point of order by opposition members, seeking an explanation of how authorities in Islamabad had reacted to the strikes. But Malik added that the areas that came under air strike by the Nato forces are controlled by the Taliban.
The Nato airstrikes in North Waziristan drew an angry reaction from Pakistan which has threatened to consider ‘response options’ if immediate steps were not taken to stop such invasions.
The Pakistan Army and diplomats said on Monday they had conveyed to the US-led international forces in Afghanistan that Islamabad could no longer guarantee the security of Nato supplies after airstrikes.
Responding to another point of order the interior minister said the government was aware of the activities of the terrorist organisations functioning inside the country and that every possible measure will be taken to control terrorist activities.
The house spared a good part of proceedings to discuss still-to-be-proved spot-fixing allegations against some players of the Pakistan cricket team.
Sports Minister Ijaz Jakhrani promised “strict action” against players if they were found guilty after the probe. He, however, said that if the allegations were not proved, the top management of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will have to face the consequences for failing to handle the case wisely. Jakhrani appeared to be shying away from a demand by several parliamentarians to remove PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt. “How can we remove a person from such a high post on the basis of mere allegations,” he asked of Butt, who is the brother-in-law of another federal minister.
Speaking on a motion, several members from opposition parties said it was sad that those who were regarded national heroes played such dirty games. “They were heroes of the nation. But now they are a symbol of national shame,” remarked MNA Tahira Aurangzeb of the PML-N.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2010.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ