ISLAMABAD - The new wave of terrorism in the country came in focus in the Senate on Monday with fervent calls from treasury and opposition benches for necessary preventive measures by the government.
"The government should come out of the state of flux and should immediately call a joint sitting of the parliament to discuss the worsening situation," PPP parliamentary leader Senator Mian Raza Rabbani said while discussing the recent terrorist incidents in the country.
Senator Rabbani was of the view that joint sitting of the parliament is a proper forum to discuss the issue rather than All Parties Conference (APC). He said that it is about time to review the APC decision of offering peace talks to TTP.
The PPP senator in his opening remarks condemned the US congress bill linking Pakistan's economic aid to the release of Dr Shakeel Afridi. "It is blatant act of interference in our internal affairs," he said, adding Dr Afridi is citizen of Pakistan and is being tried under Pakistani laws.
Veteran parliamentarian from the ruling party Senator M Hamza also expressed his deep concern over the terrorist actions targeting the security forces of the country.
Senator Afrasyab Khattak from ANP said the state seems helpless, as there are states within state, adding the situation is very serious as the new government is also failing in tackling the situation and establishing peace in the country. "Who is responsible for the very situation," he asked.
He said a representative delegation of all parliamentary parties in Balochistan Assembly led by Chief Minister Abdul Malik is visiting the federal capital to impress upon the federal government to take immediate measures for the safe recovery of ANP leader Nawabzada Zahir who was kidnapped for ransom from Quetta three months ago.
Lala Abdul Rauf from PkMAP also expressed his deep concern over the deteriorating state of law and order and asked the government to decide its course of action against the terrorists. He also called for early and safe recovery of ANP leader Nawab Zahir Khan.
Col (r) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi from the MQM, while discussing the security situation in the country said that the government is giving more time to terrorists for regrouping in the name of peace talks. "They are enemy of Pakistan and enemy should not be given time," he said, adding that the government should order Pakistan Army to launch action against the enemy.
Hafiz Hammidullah from the JUI-F also expressed his concern over the law and order situation in Balochistan and sought recovery of ANP leader Nawab Zahir without further delay.
Responding to concerns of the members, Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq assured the House that the government would not compromise the security and integrity of the country.
The House also discussed at length a commenced motion moved by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar seeking to discuss the working and recent pronouncements of the Council of Islamic Ideology. The senator questioned some recent pronouncements of the Council of Islamic Ideology and asked whether the Council was a legal entity even after having submitted its final report to the Parliament in 1997 as required under the Constitution. The task assigned to it by the 1973 Constitution has since been completed and it has no business to continue making reports, he added.
Speaking on a motion, he recalled four recent pronouncements of the CII, which he said lent credence to the view that Pakistan was a country where logic and reason were turned upside down.
The Council in May last declared that DNA test results are not acceptable as primary evidence in cases of rape even though it is admissible as evidence in courts across the world.
However, Raja Zafarul Haq rejecting this point of view, asked the mover to study the law of evidence first as DNA tests are not primary evidence in the rape offences.
The motion drew reaction from several members, including Minister of State for Religious Affairs Pir Hassnat, Saeeda Iqbal, Chaudhry Jaffer Iqbal, Professor Sajid Mir, Sardar Ali Khan and Hafiz Hammidullah who said Senator Babar was trying to make an issue out of a non-issue.
Earlier, Chairman Sabir Baluch suspended proceedings of the House for fifteen minutes in solidarity with media professionals to condemn a fatal attack on a TV Channel crew in Karachi. The media persons in the press gallery staged a walkout which was supported by the opposition the House, which also staged a token walkout in solidarity with the media.
Before the House prorogued sine die, three bills including a bill to amend the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace Act 2010 were introduced in the House and referred to the standing committee.