ISLAMABAD - The Upper House of the Parliament Monday sought policy statement from the government on at least two issues of foreign policy, including the recently held peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban and the location where Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Mohammad Omar died.

Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani asked the Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq that Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz should come in the house and give policy statement on these two issues as raised by PPP lawmaker Farhatullah Babar.

Earlier, Senator Farhatullah Babar on a point of public importance said there were reports that Taliban leader Mullah Omar died in Pakistan in 2013. “The government had been denying in the past the presence of Taliban Shura and Al-Qaeda Chief Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan,” Babar said, adding then the whole world came to know after Bin Laden’s killing in Abbottabad on May 2.

He said that the Foreign Office should have given a clear statement about the reports of Mullah Omar’s death in Pakistan. He said that the FO should have informed whether the report of death of Mullah Omar came from Pakistan to Afghanistan or not. “Otherwise, this will create and give rise to unnecessary questions,” he said. “And if Mullah Omar died two years ago, then who issued statement on Eid impersonating himself as Taliban leader,” he said seeking explanation from the government.

He also sought progress on the recently held peace talks between Afghan government and Taliban in Murree and added that the Upper House should have been informed about details of these talks.

The Afghan government had confirmed last week that Taliban leader Mullah Omar died in April 2013 in Pakistan. A spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security had confirmed to the media that Mullah Omar died in a hospital in the Pakistani city of Karachi in April 2013.

Senator Sherry Rehman of PPP made last effort and appealed to the government to commute death sentence of death row convict Shafqat Hussain to life imprisonment in the light of recommendations of the Human Rights Commission of Sindh. The request of Sherry came just some hours before the execution of Shafqat Hussain as he is to be hanged today (August 4). She said that Law Department Sindh has also requested the Ministry of Interior to halt his death sentence for sometime in the light of the recommendations of the commission. She said that head of Human Rights Commission Sindh Justice (Retd) Majida in its recommendations said that confession statement was got from Shafqat under severe torture and duress and the point of his juvenility was still under question. The commission said that important evident was missing and convict had already served 11 years imprisonment. “Life once gone cannot be revived,” she said asking the government to halt his execution.

Speaking on his commenced motion, Senator Usman Kakar from Balochistan said that Frontier Corpse (FC) in Balochistan was intruding into the authority of the provincial government as it had made a an illegal agreement with the illegal lease owners of coal mines in Harnai and was collecting money from them at its own will. “Through this agreement, FC is getting Rs220 per tom of coal being extracted from the mines,” he said, adding that the money was in million collected this way monthly. The mandate of FC is to maintain law and order situation in the province. “Chief Minister Balochistan and cabinet withdrew the FC from the agreement but it was till extorting money,” he said.

Farhatullah Babar said that FC in Balochistan not only disobeyed orders of provincial government but also thought itself out of the preview of law and constitution. He said that FC was involved in kidnapping people in the province and a statement of police officer before the court in this context needed to be probed. However, General (Retd) Abdul Qayyum said that the basic responsibility of FC was to protect border areas but as the civilian forces failed in inner areas of the province, FC was being involved. He said that Dukki mines field in the province started with the efforts of FC. Saeed Ghani said that FC had no role in coal mining and Home Secretary Balochistan had written a letter in this regard. Baz Mohamamd Khan said that the Balochistan government had issued a directive that no one would be allowed to collect money from mines except provincial Mines and Minerals Department. State Minister for Interior Baleegur Rehman said that the agreement was made in 2014 after taking confidence into the Balochistan government and the Ministry of Interior had received no complaint against FC.

Sherry Rehman also rejected the way the government demolished katachi abadi in Sector I-11 of Islamabad what she said this was against the soul of democracy. “This is not fair that you bulldoze people,” she said, adding that these people should be given compensation. Baz Muhamamd Khan said that most of Pashtun people were living there after displacement as a result of FATA operation.

Farahatullah Babar speaking on his motion said that the government had made redundant the recently formed National Commission on Human Right, as funds had not been released for its smooth working. Law Minister Pervaiz Rasheed said that a summary had been moved to Finance Division for the release of funds and assured that proper funding would be provided to the commission.

There was exchange of hot words between Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani after the former objected over the motion of Tahir Mashhadi regarding effects on the economy of Pakistan over transfer of wealth out of country. The minister wanted to speak while the chair giving reference to the rules said that the minister could give his response when the house would take up the motion as commenced motion. “If you are not satisfied the way the house was being conducted, you can use parliamentary channels for redressal of your complaint,” the chair had to give remarks after the minister was not ready to sit silent.

The house rejected a resolution with the majority of vote that recommended to the government that the status of university should not be granted to PIMS so that free medical facilities presently being provided to the poor patients in that institute may continue.