ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on Interior has sought intervention of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the apparent ‘reluctance’ of interior minister and secretary interior to appear before it for what the committee chairman said was tantamount to inviting rule of martial law by ignoring the Parliament .
The committee that met here Wednesday under the chair of Senator Talha Mahmood had to face embarrassment when none of the government functionaries of the Ministry of Interior appeared in the meeting scheduled for a detailed briefing on the National Internal Security Policy.
The meeting decided to write to the prime minister seeking his intervention on the issue, to Chairman Senate Nayyer Hussain Bokhari and to move a privilege motion in the next session of the Upper House over the irresponsible behaviours of the bureaucracy of the Ministry of Interior.
It was also decided that a letter would also be written to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in this regard and a letter of displeasure would be issued in the name of Secretary Interior Shahid Khan, who, the committee said, was responsible for the whole fiasco.
The committee alleging Secretary Interior Shahid Khan said, “It looked that the secretary interior and all the bureaucracy of the interior ministry was out of the control of the incumbent government, wanted to make fail the civilian government and it was a conspiracy against the government as well”.  Talha said it looked that the incumbent government was not ready to accept the parliament and it was tantamount to invite rule of martial law and they were waiting for it. He remarked that number of meetings of the committee had already been postponed on the request of the Ministry of Interior.
He said it was a denial to accept the supremacy of the Parliament . “They have killed the Parliament and is moving towards dictatorship.”
In a number of official conversations with the Senate Committee that are available with The Nation, Ministry of Interior has asked the committee that its meeting should be postponed saying “Ministry of Interior was extremely busy with court cases, JIT and other related issues (F-8 Katchery incident). In such a situation, it is very difficult to prepare working papers/briefs up to the satisfaction of the honourable members of the Committee”.
In a Minister of Interior’s latest letter U.O. No. 20/3/2014-Council, dated 17th March, 2014 and written by Secretary Interior Shahid Khan himself, he had said, “The present law and order situation warrants constant vigilance and attention of officers at the Ministry of Interior. It is, therefore, once again requested that Senate Standing Committee on Interior & Narcotics Control may convene its meeting (after) every two months (instead of every month).”
Tahir Mashhadi, a member of the committee, during the meeting, said, “It was tantamount to undermining the authority of the Parliament as well as disrespect and treason to the Parliament ...it is violation of every rule, article of the Constitution and no one can see such a gross violation in any Parliament of the world.” He said that such disrespect had never been by any public servant and this was not tolerable at all.”
Senator Israrullah Zehri said that bureaucracy was prevailing on day-to-day affairs of the government and the committee should seek intervention from PM.
Najma Hameed said that a sub-committee should be formed to have a meeting with the interior minister and to take him on board, however, other members rejected the notion saying that the ministry could not do so without the directions of the interior minister.
“This means that the bureaucracy wants to make fail the incumbent government,” the woman lawmaker from the ruling party said.
Sardar Ahmed Ali said that it should be clear whether the ministry officials were bound to attend the committee meeting or not.
Mashhadi said that rules are clear that secretary and additional secretary shall attend the meeting
On a lighter note, Mukhtiar Ahmed Damrah of PPP remarked that Ministry of Interior walked out of the committee meeting and said the attitude of the Ministry of Interior was tantamount to reinforcing those forces like Taliban who did not accept the Parliament . This is a matter to establish writ of the parliamentary committees and the message had gone wrong internationally as well.
“It is an attack of bureaucracy on the Parliament .”
Tahir Mashhadi said that it was the function of the committee to oversee the law and order situation and letter of the secretary was without substance and just to hoodwink the Parliament .