ISLAMABAD - JAVAID-UR-RAHMAN - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Tuesday staged a walkout from the National Assembly over worsening law and order situation in Karachi and warned to boycott the whole current session if the government would not come up with a clear response till today (Wednesday).

PPP’s another important coalition partner – Awami National Party (ANP) – also termed the recent hike in violence in the commercial capital of the country a failure of intelligence agencies and suggested forming an assembly committee for concrete recommendations.

The House on the first Private Member Day of the 47th session passed a bill that aims at providing free education to every child. In less than half an hour, six different bills were moved by the treasury and opposition benches.

Speaking on a point of order, MQM senior legislator Abdul Qadir Khanzada warned the government of session boycott, saying: “We are confused whether we should attend NA session or console with the families of victims of target killings.” He said the two major political parties did not utter even a single word over the bloodshed in Karachi, he said. “MQM is staging walkout over this careless attitude,” he maintained.

Taking the floor, ANP’s senior lawmaker Bushra Gohar proposed that a parliamentary committee should be formed to ascertain the root cause of target killing incidents in Karachi. “This is negligence of intelligence agencies,” she said. ‘Hidden hand’ and ‘third force’ are always blamed for such criminal acts, Bushra said. She said there was a need to expose real culprits. She also demanded a joint resolution for supporting the call for noble prize to Malala Yousafzai.

PML-N MNA Sheikh Rohail Asghar strongly criticised MQM’s staging the walkout, saying it should rather separate from the government. “It is very strange that you (MQM) are part of the government but at the same time you criticise it,” he said. JUI-F MNA Maulvi Asmat Ullah said that killing of students learning the Quran and the Sunna should be condemned. Kashmala Tariq and Abdul Ghani Talpur also expressed serious concern over target killings in Karachi and Hyderabad. They demanded debate on Karachi situation in the house.

Earlier, the house passed ‘the Right to free and compulsory education bill, 2012’ which aims at providing right of free education to every child. The clause-3 of the bill, moved by PPP legislator Yasmeen Rehman, says that every child, regardless of sex, nationality or race, shall have a fundamental right to free and compulsory education in a neighborhood school. “No child shall be liable to pay any kind of fee, charges, expenses, etc, which may prevent him from perusing and completing the education,” it says.

“It is the obligation of the appropriate government to provide free education to every child and ensure admission of children of migrant families. Provision of training facilities for teachers and students, infrastructure including school building, playgrounds, labs, etc are also obligation of appropriate government... the parent of a child shall cause a child to attend a school in the neighborhood until the said child has completed the prescribed education.”

According to the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, article 25A of the constitution provides for free education to all children of aged 5 to sixteen as a fundamental right and its provision is a responsibility of the state. The bill provides for education to all children in schools established by the federal, provincial and local governments.

Women legislators, Shehnaz Wazir Ali, Assiya Nasir and Khushbakht Shujat, lauded Yasmeen Rehman for presenting the bill. The house witnessed speedy legislation as six other bills were moved – including ‘The control of narcotics substances (amendment) bill, 2012, ‘The Pakistan food security for poor people bill2012’, ‘ The criminal law (amendment) bill 2012’, ‘The Pakistan Psychological Regulatory Authority bill, 2012’, ‘The protection and welfare of Khawja Saras Rights bill, 2012’, and ‘the criminal law (amendment) bill,2012’.

MQM protests own govt’s ‘coldness’