ISLAMABAD - The government and opposition lawmakers in Friday’s National Assembly sitting strongly criticised the Foreign Office’s “ignorance” over a recent UN Human Rights Council’s meeting, where Pakistan was absent at the time of voting.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman, on a point of order, said that Pakistan was among three Muslim-majority countries that did not cast vote in the Human Rights Council’s meeting held apropos the crisis in Syria.

“This is very unfortunate as Pakistan was absent during the voting,” he said, demanding strict notice on the “negligence”.

“It seems the Foreign Office was not aware of the Human Rights Council’s meeting,” said Fazl, while showing details of the UN meeting on his mobile set to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Asif.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Asif came all the way from his seat to watch the details of the meeting on Fazl’s mobile phone.

Fazl further demanded that those responsible for the “negligence” should be taken to task by the government and the Parliament. “All that is happening there [in the Middle East] is for the sake of greater Israel,” he said, commenting on the situation in the Arab world.

About the conflict in Ummah, Fazl quoted the United Nation’s figure that around 400,000 to 470,000 people had died in Syria. “A resolution should be passed in the house in support of oppressed Muslims,” he said.

Fazl mentioned human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir and plight of Muslims in Myanmar.

“We have raised voice for the rights of Kashmiris and Muslims of Myanmar but the situation in Syria is worse and needs our attention,” he said.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Shireen Mazari, while taking part in the debate, supported the idea for passing a resolution for the oppressed Muslims.

She said that there was a dire need of unity among all Muslim-majority countries.

The PTI’s MNA regretted that a Muslim-majority country was supporting the Syrian government and another Muslim state was behind the other group.

MQM’s Sheikh Salahuddin said that there was a need to revisit foreign policy.

“MQM-P also supports the proposals of a resolution in favour of the oppressed people of Syria,” he said.

A Fata member Shah G Gul Afridi, on his turn, said all Muslims should show unity.

“The conflicts in Syria and Yemen should be resolved,” said Afridi.

He also urged that the parliament should play its role to resolve issues of the Fata.

Earlier, PTI’s Shafqat Mehmood raised concerns over the appointment of Ali Jehangir Siddiqui as Pakistan's ambassador to the US.

The National Assembly Deputy Speaker, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, adjourned the house abruptly, as the PTI’s Junaid Akbar pointed out lack of quorum in the house.

Minister for Privatisation Daniyal Aziz wanted to speak on a point of order when the house was adjourned.

The house on the first day of the 54th session witnessed a thin presence throughout the day.

 

 

Javaid-ur-Rahman