Both the lower and upper house of the Parliament passed unanimous resolutions, condemning Saturday’s attacks in Balochistan.
Lawmakers, gathered in National Assembly on Sunday to debate over the budget presented by the government, took a pause to first take up Saturday’s acts of violence in Balochistan.
Condemning the bomb blasts and firing incidents in Quetta that killed female students and destroyed Quaid-e-Azam’s residency in Ziarat, the legislators unanimously resolved to defeat what they called “nefarious designs” of anti-state elements.
“The House expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families of all the innocent students and officers, medical staff, patients and security personnel who have lost their lives in these barbaric attacks,” said a resolution moved by Minister for Law Zahid Hamid. The resolution was not challenged by any party member and thus was unanimously adopted.
The resolution stated that the House expresses its complete solidarity and support for the government of Balochistan. Lower house of the Parliament resolved to support the provincial government deal with Balochistan’s critical situation on an emergency basis through a national, consensual approach.
“The whole nation has been deeply shocked and grieved by the attack on Quaid’s residency in Ziarat which symbolises Pakistan’s historic legacy,” said the unanimous resolution. It further read that the nation has also been saddened by the callous, targeted murder of young women students and the terrorist attack on Bolan Medical College and Hospital Complex in Quetta.
Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq specially allowed members who wanted to speak about the Balochistan tragedy, to take floor.
Lawmakers in the National Assembly also prayed for the souls for the victims and for the quick recovery of the injured. In the same resolution, the house also condemned the kidnapping of five doctors, abducted on June 14 from Loralai.
Jamiat-e-Ullema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F)’s leader Asia Nasir condemned the incidents and urged the government to seriously take up Balochistan’s issue. “An integrated strategy should be evolved to deal with the crisis,” said the JUI-F lawmaker.
Her party colleague Maulana Ameer Zaman from Balochistan accused certain foreign elements of disrupting peace in the province. He particularly mentioned that intelligence agencies of countries like India, Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel were involved in creating unrest in the province. He dispelled the notion that the Baloch people wanted independence. “People of Balochistan want to live with Pakistan,” said Zaman.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) legislator Raja Amir Zaman termed the burning of Qauid’s residency ‘an attack on the ideology of Pakistan’.
The Upper House too, passed a unanimous resolution condemning the attacks in Balochistan.
The resolution, tabled by PML-N senator Nuzhat Sadiq, was endorsed by members from across the divide. The Senate, during its debate session over the budget, expressed sympathies with the victims and their families.
Interrupting the budget discussion, members asked the government to explain reasons behind the delay in issuance of passports. In the absence of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who was in Balochistan, Law Minister Zahid Hamid told the house that the directorate of passports has been facing shortage of laminates lately.
However, the shortage problem, he said, has been resolved and almost all backlogs of over 800,000 passports had been cleared. “Only a backlog of 150,000 is left which will be cleared by the end of June,” said Hamid.
He added that the directorate was printing 18,000 to 20,000 passports daily whereas previously only 2,000 were being given to the people. He said that all the pendency on some 450,000 urgent passports has already been cleared along with those of the overseas Pakistanis.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2013.