ISLAMABAD - The Upper House of the Parliament yesterday asked the federal government to give a briefing to it on the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Counter Terrorism on December 16, the day of deadly terrorist attack on Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar last year.

Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani directed the Ministry of Interior before the Senate unanimously passed a resolution moved by PPP Senator Sehar Kamran and showed its solidarity with the families of martyrs in the attack.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan made the demand of the briefing saying the government should brief the house tomorrow on NAP on the completion of one year of the APS tragedy that was the major reason behind the announcement of this plan.

The briefing of the ministry on NAP would be significant because the government for the last few weeks had not given any update on the implementation of the NAP that is being considered an important counter terrorism document in the history of the country. However, the presence of the interior minister would remain the focus of every lawmaker and public at large that rarely visits the house following PPP's protest sit-in outside the Parliament House against him two years back.

Rabbani while responding to Ahsan said that the interior ministry had earlier requested for briefing for the house standing committee, but it should instead brief the house on December 16.

The unanimously resolution said: "The Senate of Pakistan re-affirms its solidarity with families of martyrs of Army Public School Peshawar and demands the government to continue its struggle for elimination of terrorism from Pakistan."

"December 16 is a dark day for Pakistan," Aitzaz Ahsan said while referring to the fall of Dhaka and then APS attack last year in which 146 people were killed including most of the students.

The house also passed another resolution moved by PPP Senator Farhatulah Babar, which says that "the house calls upon the government to ensure strict implementation of the law disallowing the resurrection of banned outfits under other names".

On another issue, the Chairman Senate informed the house that he had taken up an incident of manhandling PTI Senator Nauman Wazir by security personnel at a check post in Noshera, with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif. "I as custodian of the house talked to COAS this morning and narrated the whole story after reading it in the press," he said and added the COAS showed his dismay, he was not aware of the incident and assured that he would inquire and get back to him.

On a point of public concern, Senator Mushahid Hussain deplored that Capital Development Authority (CDA) in a reply to a petition submitted before the Supreme Court said that "the pace of occupation of land by Christians in the capital may affect the Muslim majority of Islamabad". This is against the vision of the founding fathers, he said. Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani strongly reacted to the CDA stance, called it deplorable and said, "CDA is turning into a hate machine...Is CDA not aware of the constitutional provisions". The chair read out different articles of the constitution that ask for equal rights of Pakistanis to live and possess land. He referred the matter to the committee and asked for a report within a week.

Advisor to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz while winding up the motion to improve the efficiency of Pakistani missions abroad said that their overall performance was satisfactory. "This government has moved towards public diplomacy while it has declared its economic diplomacy as its first priority," he said adding this was being done through embassies.

PPP Senator Saeed Ghani on a point of order talked about the criticism of interior minister against PPP over the controversy of extension to Rangers' stay in Karachi said that the minister himself had admitted that Rangers had no anti-corruption powers. "But when we say, then the federal government does not accept," he said. Chairman Rabbani said that the federal government should address grievances of Sindh over the powers of Rangers.

Meanwhile, Senator Usman Khan Kakar from the PKMAP started a debate on causes, remedies and preventive measures to control poverty in the country. Kakar censured the government saying 46 percent people were below the poverty line.

He also questioned that rationale that the rich who get billions in loans are given favours as previous governments have written off billions of loans.