ISLAMABAD - Suggesting a long-term national policy to stamp out sectarian violence and terrorism, the opposition has reminded the government that it was primarily responsible for country’s security.

The opposition benches in the national assembly Wednesday advised the treasury to devise a national policy to eliminate violence by following the recommendations of parliament and the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. They said the main reason for poor internal security was that the previous decisions were made outside the parliament.

A member from the treasury benches, Nadeem Afzal Chan, called for convening an all-party conference (APC) to promote interfaith harmony, stressing that reconciliation, political dialogue and religious dialogue were necessary at the moment.

PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafiq asked the treasury as to who was responsible for the country’s national security as terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence has plagued the state. He questioned whether the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security were ever implemented para-wise.

He said that the country at present had no strategy how to play its role to fill the vacuum after US would exit from Afghanistan. “How we have to deal with the situation arising out of drone attacks in Fata,” he said and answered in the same breath that the nation wanted answers of all questions.

Khawaja said that sectarian violence in Gilgit-Baltistan was on the rise and Baloch nationals as well as immigrants in Balochistan and common people in Karachi were being killed. Implicitly criticising Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), he said that a political party in Karachi had formed its own armed group. He said that the armed forces of the country were also under threat in the country and beheading of soldiers in country’s tribal region had shaken the people.

The PML-N lawmaker said that whether the government had formed a long-term policy to stop violence. He said a blame game was continuing and no one was ready to take responsibility. “Will we succeed in ending the menace of terrorism through blame game,” he questioned. “Have you united all the political forces and other stakeholders to end this menace of terrorism and sectarian violence,” he further asked.

Khawaja said PPP government was wasting all its energies in insulting SC orders, appointing corrupt bureaucrats and even disgracing the constitution. He said that the government was not serious about solving the problems and it should therefore move towards elections for fresh mandate.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) chief Fazalur Rehman also said that the decisions of the parliament regarding national security were not implemented and this was the main cause behind the worsening situation. He said that parliament passed a unanimous resolution in 2008 to review the policies of Musharraf regime and to form a new comprehensive policy but it was never implemented and many such resolutions were ignored at a number of times and decisions were taken outside the parliament.

“Do not blame the religious parties for sectarian violence as we have always played a role for religious harmony in the country,” he said and stressed that political parties and all bigger religious groups and Ulema of the country had openly alienated themselves from sectarian violence and terrorism. JUI-F chief admitted that there were sectarian elements in the country but they always reinforced when they were placed on the pay roll of country’s intelligence agencies or the government.

PPP lawmaker from Nadeem Afzal Chan said that thousands of Pakistani youth completed their religious education every year from seminaries and they had no opportunities for employment.

This is the reason some elements exploit this condition and use them in suicide bombings and terrorism activities, he further said.

He said Pakistan was being pushed towards sectarianism and Shias were being killed here. He said that it was the need of the hour to summon APC to bring religious harmony in the country and he sought the role of Ulema in this regard. He said that certain quarters formed Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC) against resumption of Nato supplies but no one formed any such alliance against sectarian violence in the country.

State Minister for Water and Power Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi responding to the call attention notice of MQM legislators said that the government was at least trying to minimise loadshedding in the country, if it could not end it completely at once. However, he did not give any deadline for an end to loadshedding despite the fact movers of the notice were stressing for a cut off date. He said that a system was being installed in the country and first in Islamabad with the help of international donors including ADB to check line losses and power theft in the country.

State Minister for Commerce Abbas Khan Afridi moved the National Tariff Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2012 before the House to further amend the National Tariff Commission Act, 1990.