ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Rehman Malik came under severe criticism in the Senate on Thursday when a lawmaker from the treasury side said that Red Zone in the federal capital was unnecessarily cordoned off by the law enforcement agencies for many hours due to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s appearance before the Supreme Court.

Senator Zahid Khan from Awami National Party (ANP), a coalition partner of the government, on a pint of order severely condemned Interior Minister Rehman Malik for creating hype on the security of the Prime Minister when he was to appear before the apex court. He said that daily PM used come in Parliament House that was located in the Red Zone and SC building was situated adjacent to it then what was the necessity to seal off the area specifically on Thursday. He accused that chaos was spread in the capital and the people were held hostage for hours on the pretext of security.

“Helicopters remained hovering over the sky during the SC proceedings that must have inflicted heavy loss on the national kitty and was Interior Minister trying to prove that some one had attacked us,’ he questioned. He said that the people including parliamentarians, government officials and the general masses remained stuck up in traffic for hours as the Red Zone had been sealed off during wee hours of Thursday and people had to face sever inconvenience. He totally blamed Interior Minister for the fiasco saying, “I also had to walk on foot a long way to reach the Parliament House”.

Rehman Malik gave a somewhat strange logic for cordoning off the Red Zone on the occasion saying that he had got some intelligence information at 2 am Thursday night that some people in the guise of black coats wanted to exploit the situation. He said that all would held him responsible if any untoward incident took place and this was done as pre-emptive measure to avoid such situation. He also apologized o the people who had to face nuisance in this regard.

Regarding a firing incident at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) some days ago that resulted in the killing of two innocent females, Interior Minister said that according to a preliminary judicial inquiry, an accused had been transferred from common ward to VIP ward in connivance with some doctors. “A criminal case would be registered against the responsible persons,” he added.

All the senators belonging to ANP along with PPP senior lawmaker Mian Raza Rabbani staged a token walkout from the house over the KESC (Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) management’s policy to fire the employees without any reasons. Senator Afrasayab Khattak has raised the issue that the management was busy in sacking the employees and they were being rendered unemployed. Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek passed the ruling that Federal Minister for Water and Power would make a statement on the issue today (Friday) before the house was adjourned to meet again on Friday at 10 am.

Lawmakers from Balochistan, Abdul Rahim Khan Mandokhel, Mir Wali Mohammad Badani and Dr Abdul Malik pointed out towards the poor law and order situation in Balochistan and bad state of affairs about the roads infrastructure there.