ISLAMABAD - The opposition in the Senate on Tuesday sought explanation from the government about the claim made twice by former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan that Pakistan was facing serious threats.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan demanded from the government to place facts on the floor of the house about the statement of the former interior minister, he gave on two separate occasions that some serious threats were hovering over the country.

He asked the chair to direct the Interior Minister, Ahsan Iqbal, to take the house into confidence and place facts before it.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had said, first in his press conference and then in his last interview, that only four people, two from the civilian side and two from the military were aware of the threat.

Nisar said that he and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif were from the civilian side while the chief of army staff and another senior military officer were aware of the threats but he did not elaborate on the nature of threat.

Aitzaz said that the former interior minister in his last interview again talked about this threat and further revealed that incumbent Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was also unaware of it, which was quite worrisome as it was a matter of country’s sovereignty.

“We want from the government to brief the house. The level of threat which according to the former interior minister is so serious should be in the notice of Senate chairman, the leader of the house and the leader of opposition in the Senate ,” he added.

To this, Rabbani said that if the sitting prime minister was unaware of the secret report, then what to talk of chairman Senate , the opposition leader and the leader of the house.

He viewed that others were far behind in having access to such sensitive information.

The Senate chairman remarked that he had taken notice of the former interior minister’s interview adding he would inform the house within a day as to what could be done on the issue.

I will decide whether it would be appropriate to discuss the issue in Committee of the Whole or interior minister should be asked to give a briefing to the house on it, he said.

On a point of public concern, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman asked for compensation under Civilians Victims Act for some 42 detainees who were recently released from the US custody in Bagram Prison in Afghanistan and repatriated to Pakistan.

She said that nothing could be proved against the prisoners despite they being kept in US custody for last several years.

And now they were released without any compensation.

The victims are unable to earn a living.

But neither the US nor Pakistani government have given them any compensation, the senator said.

Rehman said that the government should compensate the detainees through the Civilian Victims Act, adding any delay in rehabilitation and compensation of the victims would certainly help the non-state actors to exploit those helpless people.

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani referred the matter to Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights and sought report back within one month.

The house also initiated a debate on the address of the president to the joint-sitting of parliament he delivered on the first of June this year.

Opening the debate in the house, PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar deplored that the address was silent about the critical issue of reforms in the tribal areas, a subject of the presidency alone, and presidential claims of non-proliferation were soon mocked by General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

He said that the meeting last week in the PM House on the Fata raised more questions than it answered and asked for bringing the reforms package before the parliament.

There was no mention in the press statement issued by the PM House about jurisdiction of superior courts in the Fata nor of the law replacing the FCR, Babar said.

It mentioned the creation of a new post of chief operating officer (COO), he said and expressed apprehension that sooner or later a general would be appointed as was proposed in the now aborted package of chief executive to be filled by a grade 22 civilian or military officer.

In the presence of a uniformed officer as chief operating officer (COO), both the PM House and the President House will become redundant as the locus of power will shift to Rawalpindi further militarising the tribal areas, Babar was of the view.

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani announced to convene meeting next week of the Committee of the Whole on the Fata reforms and asked the senator to raise the issues then when Minister for SAFRON would also be present to give replies.

Babar then touched upon the remarks of President Mamnoon Hussain on nuclear proliferation.

He said that he welcomed the president's remarks that Pakistan believed in non-proliferation and was entitled to a seat in the prestigious Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Senator Babar said that no progress had been made in the development of a national narrative to reject the militants' extremist narrative.

The issue of missing persons was once again raised in the Senate , when Hafiz Hamdullah pointed out the disappearance of a member of CII along with his staff in Quetta a few days ago.

Taking part in the discussion Senator Babar said that the issue of missing person would continue to dodge us as long as there was no law to rein in the state agencies.

The house also passed “The Corporate Rehabilitation Bill, 2017” to ensure rehabilitation and reorganisation of distressed corporate entities.