Islamabad standoff: Nisar faces tough questions in Senate

The interior minister had a real challenge answering the seventeen questions thrown at him by Senator Raza Rabbani


Umer Nangiana August 21, 2013
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. PHOTO: INP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar had a tough day in the Senate on Tuesday when opposition members bombarded him with pointed questions on the Islamabad incident.

The seventeen questions thrown at him by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani were particularly vexing.

“How did you come to the conclusion that the gunman was not a terrorist? Why did you give instructions to the police while you were not present at the scene? Who were the people that the gunman was talking to on phone?” Rabbani asked the minister in the start of his long questionnaire.

It was Rabbani and the Leader of Opposition Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, who on Monday moved to adjourn the routine business of the house to discuss the firing incident of August 15 in Islamabad, where a gunman named Malik Sikander engaged police in a five-hour long standoff.

Senator Rabbani said the interior minister should have returned to Islamabad immediately upon hearing of the incident and should have taken command of the operation against the gunman. “I would like to ask if the prime minister was involved in planning the operation at any stage,” he said.

Referring to the involvement of foreign hands and “gangsters” revealed by interior minister in National Assembly, Rabbani said it was a new dimension to the incident and sought further details from him.

“Please name the foreign hand or gangsters involved in the drama, and tell us if you want to give this information in an in-camera session,” he added.

Questioning the operational aspects of the entire episode, the senator asked why had the police not cordoned off the area and why had sharpshooters not been used.

He said there were “discrepancies” in the interior minister’s first press briefing and his statement in the National Assembly.

Rabbani said the minister exposed the capital’s security capabilities. “If the state of Pakistan cannot disarm a single gunman, how can it go to war with the Taliban?” said Rabbani, adding that this was the message that the federal government sent to the world.

As the debate following Rabbani’s questions prolonged with more senators coming up with further questions, the leader of house Raja Zafarul Haq suggested adjourning the proceedings, allowing Nisar another day to prepare and respond to the questions.

The interior minister said he would need at least an hour to answer all the questions and affirmed the house that he would appear before the Senate despite his commitments.

COMMENTS (1)

Raza | 8 years ago | Reply how many people have seen the KHRA SUCH of Mubashir Luqman, in which he pointed out and given some proofs that the whole terrosrism is being funded by Saudi ARABIA and Kuwait.
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