The recovery of 26 girls from a house in Karachi and the horrific lynching of a Christian couple in Kasur drew the attention of lawmakers during the first day of the 16th session of the lower house of parliament on Wednesday.
The MNAs called for strict action against those involved in the lynching of the Christian couple on blasphemy charges in the Kot Radha Kishan area of Kasur district earlier this month.
Speaking on a point of order after the Q&A session, Shahabuddin Khan, the first-ever MNA from Fata who won the 2013 elections from Bajaur Agency on a PML-N ticket, raised the issue of recovery of 26 girls from a house in Karachi.
He suggested a parliamentary committee be formed to investigate who were exploiting the poor internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the tribal regions. The mystery of the recovery of the 26 girls was solved when it transpired during police investigation that they were handed over to a family because of a monetary dispute.
PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai endorsed Shahabuddin’s stance and requested the speaker to take necessary action. Subsequently, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq requested the main opposition party in the National Assembly, the PPP, to brief the house on the Sindh government’s response.
PPP MNA Ayaz Somroo told the lawmakers that the opposition leader had spoken to the Sindh chief minister on this issue and MNA Nafisa Shah was trying to establish a contact with the provincial police chief.
Shahabuddin said police investigators revealed that these girls, all aged between 5 and 11 years, were students of a religious seminary. During the raid, the police detained the house owner, Ayub, his wife and a woman who claimed to be the caretaker of the seminary.
The couple revealed to investigators that they owed the seminary administrator Rs300,000, but could not return the money. “She was demanding the money but we couldn’t pay. Subsequently, she came to our place along with the girls and handed them and asked her to bear their expenses,” Ayub said.
Overall attendance in the house was thin and in the absence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan made a brief appearance in the house.
Zahid Hamid, who resigned from the cabinet after the special court’s judgment in the Pervez Musharraf treason trial, also attended the session. However, he remained busy consulting cabinet members over his future course of action. Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Aftab Ahmad Sherpao were also present in the house but they did not take part in the debate.
The business advisory committee of the house also decided to run the present session of the assembly till December 5.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2014.
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