Islamabad - The alleged racial profiling of Pashtuns in Punjab took a new turn in the Senate on Monday when the government blamed social media for stirring a controversy.

Pacifying the sentiments of the Pashtun national parties, some of them also part of the ruling coalition, Minister of State for Interior Balighur Rehman said that the government could not think of adopting any policy which causes divisions.

The minister stated this while responding an adjournment motion moved by Senator Usman Kakar who said the government of the Punjab and the Punjab police have taken actions against the Pakhtun community on the pretext of a crackdown on terrorists.

The minister said that since it was a provincial matter, on the directives of the Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, he contacted the Punjab government which rejected allegations of racial profiling of Pashtuns in the province.

According to the Punjab government, no such orders were issued by the DCO Mandi Bhauddin as posted on the social media and an inquiry was underway to find out the hands behind posting such a fake order. The minister said that neither the DCO signed nor the Punjab government issued any such order.

He said that 250,000 people were questioned during search operations in which 421 were detained out of which only 34 were Pakhtuns.

The minister rejected that there was any policy to single out Pashtuns in any part of the country and emphasised that as result of Raddul Fassad operation all kind of people irrespective of their ethnic or religious links were being checked in all the four provinces.

The leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq called for more solidarity to take the war against terror to its logical end. 

Earlier, responding to a calling attention notice, Rehman informed the House that efforts were underway to further streamline the process of verification of Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs).

He said that as part of the government efforts 117,449 out of 345,510 people whose CNICs were under verification have been identified as illegal aliens.

The House also passed two identical resolutions condemning the recent attacks on mosques in USA and Canada.

Through another resolution, the House expressed its concern on a phrase “Islamic terrorism’ being used by US President Donald Trump.