ISLAMABAD - Terming the walkout staged by the MQM senators and demand of an army action in Karachi by the ANP legislators an attempt to hoodwink the masses, a PML-N senator said as the allied parties had failed to deliver, the government should announce a schedule for the next general elections if it wanted to normalise the law and order situation in the city.

On Tuesday, during speeches on points of order, senators from the government allies, including MQM and ANP, said neither Sindh nor federal governments were even ready to accept responsibility for the gory situation.

The House once again witnessed criticism from the legislators over the absence of Interior Minister Rehman Malik who was supposed to conclude the debate on the law and order situation in the country with particular reference to targeted killings in Karachi and Balochistan.

Law Minister Farooq Naek pacified the situation, saying he would take up the issue of the minister’s absence with the prime minister at the cabinet meeting to be held today (Wednesday).

PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan called the recent wave of killings in Karachi a move to delay the coming elections and demanded the government announce election schedule.

Speaking on a point of order, he disagreed with a demand made by ANP Senator Ilyas Bilour for an army action in Karachi.

“In the presence of PPP-led coalition government, an army action will also be a futile exercise because the Sindh government itself is responsible for leading the situation to this extent,” he said.

He criticised ANP and MQM for befooling the masses by staging mere walkouts from the House while being a part and parcel of the incumbent government. “You all are equally responsible for all that mess. During the past four and a half years’ tenure you remained silent over the situation and now you are staging walkouts. Your protest is not more than an election stunt,” Muahahidullah observed.

He said Talibanization of Karachi is just an excuse; in fact, there is a civil war in Karachi and the time has come to differentiate between politics of reconciliation and politics of interests.

Mustafa Kamal of MQM lamented that no one was worried over the situation. The prime minister should come to Karachi and help resolve this issue on emergency basis, he said. Later, the MQM staged a walkout from the House in protest.

Earlier, Ilyas Bilour of ANP said an army operation was the only viable solution to the Karachi situation, adding the House discussed the law and order situation several times in the past, but to no avail. “Speeches of Rehman Malik will not lead to betterment. The prime minister should come and address our reservations on the floor of the House,” Bilour demanded.

Faisal Raza Abidi of PPP, mentioning some report, said the law-enforcement agencies had traced the presence of some 1,700 suicide bombers in the country. “Action against all those religious seminaries with which these bombers have affiliation is inevitable,” Abidi said.

Later, the House was adjourned to meet again on Wednesday(today) at 4pm.