Islamabad -  A day after the settlement of Dawn leak row, senators belonging to different political parties on Thursday emphasised the need for addressing security issues through the newly constituted Parliamentary Committee on National Security in the future rather that leaving them at the mercy of media.

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The senators recorded their mixed reaction while discussing the Dawn leak issue.

The House will conclude its debate on the news leaks issue tomorrow (Friday) after a request from Leader of Opposition was obliged by Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani.

The senators asked the government to take the Parliament into confidence on such sensitive issues relating to national security from where it draws strength with most of them still demanding from the government to make the inquiry report about Dawn leaks public.

Earlier, the House held a threadbare discussion regarding the lynching of Mishal Khan and the rise in such incidents in the country.

Initiating the discussion, Senator Farhatullah Babar from PPP said that the mob violence was increasingly becoming a routine in the society.

He said the Parliament should play its role to prevent misuse of blasphemy law. He said some elements were suppressing the expression of freedom in the name of religion which was regrettable.

PTI’s Muhammad Azam Khan Swati said that politicians, lawmakers, Ulema, lawyers and every segment of society will have to play their due role to change the extremist mindset and to present a soft image of the Pakistan and Islam.

PPP’s Sherry Rehman said that the growing intolerance was becoming a serious issue of our society. She said that serious efforts should be made to check mob violence.

Senator Rubina Khalid said that war against terrorism cannot be won without having a counter-narrative to check extremism in the country. She urged the Chairman to constitute a Committee of the Whole to evolve a counter-narrative.

Maulana Atta-ur-Rehman said no one should be allowed to take the law into hands. He said his party expresses complete sympathy with Mishal Khan. He said implementation of the law in letter and spirit is the way forward to prevent such incidents. He said it will be inappropriate to talk about changing the blasphemy law on the basis of these incidents.

Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said it will become difficult to live in a society if growing religious intolerance is not stopped. He requested all the political parties and Ulema to join hands in checking this menace from the society.

Nihal Hashmi said the blasphemy law prevents people from taking law in hands as the state is there to check any blasphemous act. He urged Ulema to give a true message of Islam. Similarly, the liberal elements should also try better understand religion instead of criticising it.

Mir Kabir said that it was an important issue which should be discussed in the Committee of Whole of the Upper House or the matter should be debated by convening an all parties conference.

Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar said that the university administration is mainly responsible for the lynching of Mishal Khan. He urged political parties, religious leaders and media organisations to come forward in curbing extremist mindset from the Pakistani society. He proposed that Mishal Khan’s father should be given an award for demonstrating decency and courage even on the death of his son, Department of Mass Communication of the Abdul Wali Khan University should be named after Mishal Khan and his case should be tried speedily.

Shahi Syed said that some people were doing politics on the issue of Mishal Khan which was regrettable. He said action should be taken against the culprits, irrespective of their political affiliation.

Chaudhary Tanvir Khan said extremist elements are defaming Islam by promoting intolerance. He stressed the need for changing individuals’ mindset to prevent such incidents. He said a detailed report from the provincial government should be sought over Mishal Khan’s lynching and culprits behind this barbaric incident should be taken to the task.

Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan said strict action should be taken against those responsible for the lynching of Mishal Khan.

He said all the people, after identifying in the lynching video available, should not be given any clemency and everyone should be tried according to the law.

He said Mishal Khan lynching case should be tried in a military court for misuse of religion. He also urged Chairman Senate to form a Committee of the Whole to have detailed discussion with leading Ulema, lawyers, media persons and other important figures on the issue of extremist mindset so that a unanimous view to addressing the issue could be sought.

Winding up the discussion, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad said that lynching of a student at University is a terrible incident which has shaken the entire world. He said the provincial government is extensively investigating the matter and the police have so far arrested 47 people. He assured the House that the government will take every step to protect lives and properties of the citizens.

Among others who spoke on the topic include Hafiz Hamdullah, Taj Haider, Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel, Nauman Wazir Khattak, Aurangzeb Khan, Muhammad Ali Saif and Saleem Zia.

The House was adjourned to meet at 10am on Friday.