Declaring the December 16 Peshawar school massacre a ‘grave national tragedy’, the upper house of parliament on Friday passed a resolution condemning the ‘inhumane act’ before adjourning the proceedings till Monday.
The resolution, tabled by PPP Senator Raza Rabbani, was unanimously passed by the Senate.
The session was later adjourned in an unprecedented way as traditionally a session is adjourned only on the death of a sitting member.
But this time Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bokhari proposed at a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee to adjourn the house — the idea was endorsed by all the members.
Before adjourning the house, which remained in session for around 10 minutes, the senators offered fateha for the victims of the Peshawar school tragedy and also for former JUI-F senator from Sindh, Khalid Mehmood Soomro, who was gunned down a few days back.
“This house believes that the [Peshawar] assault is, in fact, an attack on the state and society of Pakistan and on its future,” reads the resolution which described it as a ‘grave national tragedy’.
The house recalled that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other banned outfits have targeted civilians, armed forces, police, law-enforcement and intelligence agencies in the past. “But in Peshawar they targeted the future of the country by seeking to instill fear among children. We condemn this brutal, monstrous and willful murder of our youth,” says the resolution.
The militants are posing an existential threat to Pakistan and therefore there is a dire need for ideological and strategic clarity and complete unity, the resolution states. “We should destroy the TTP and other militants to preserve, protect and defend the Pakistani way of life.”
The house also expressed abhorrence for all those who by acting – wittingly or unwittingly – as apologists of militants are misleading the nation and weakening its resolve. It also called upon the people to unite in the hour of national grief and mourning.
Earlier, the Business Advisory Committee of the Senate strongly condemned the ‘barbaric act’. “The country’s leadership has to show unity and maturity,” the Senate chairman said while chairing the meeting.
Parliamentary leaders and members of the committee endorsed the chairman’s point of view and condemned the incident in the strongest words.
The committee discussed the modalities and agenda of the current session. It was informed that the session would continue for two weeks. Important legislative matters and other issues would be debated alongside a thorough discussion on the Peshawar massacre.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2014.
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