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ISLAMABAD: As the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has intensified terrorist attacks in the country, Senator Raza Rabbani on Wednesday lambasted the coalition government of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for not including the issue on the agenda of the joint sitting of parliament.

Addressing the joint sitting of parliament which was held with National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf in the chair amid a boycott by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senators, Rabbani said that the terror incidents have wreaked havoc with the country especially in parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, but the issue was missing on the agenda of the joint sitting, which is “quite shameful”.

He regretted that the upper house of parliament called for a debate on the rising incidents of terror attacks – on numerous occasions – through a joint sitting of parliament, but all fell on deaf ears.

NA speaker for inter-parliamentary cooperation to address global challenges

“I’m sorry to say that we raised the issue of terrorism on several occasions and called for a debate on it through a joint session…today KP is drenched in a bloodbath, but there is no mention of terrorism on the seven-point agenda of the joint session,” he lamented.

The ghastly incident of the terrorist attack which took place inside the heavily-guarded Peshawar Police Lines is not mentioned on the agenda of the day, he said, adding the terrorist attack which claimed over 100 lives and left hundreds injured should have been on top of the agenda.

At the same time, Rabbani also blasted the previous government of PTI for holding talks with TTP followed by the rehabilitation of the militants without taking the parliament into confidence which had serious repercussions on the overall law and order situation of the country.

This is the reason we see a surge in terror attacks in the country, he said, adding given the situation, there is a need to invite all the stakeholders especially, the military leadership to the joint sitting of the house to give their point of view on the rising incidents of terrorism.

“They are necessary stakeholders in this entire process; therefore, it’s the right of the parliament and through parliament, it’s the right of the people of Pakistan to be aware of what step and what policy is being taken and if parliament is in agreement with it or amend that policy,” he maintained.

Rabbani also regretted the inordinate delay in releasing Ali Wazir, the incarcerated lawmaker of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), despite being given bail in all the cases, and not issuing his production orders.

The NA speaker remained tight-lipped about the non-issuance of production orders of Ali Wazir who is languishing in Karachi central jail since December 31, 2020 after he was arrested in connection with two sedition cases. The Minister for Law and Justice, Azam Nazir Tarar, said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will take the house into confidence about Peshawar terrorist attack at Police Lines, as joint session is not being prorogued.

Meanwhile, the joint sitting of parliament expressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir for their right to self-determination and reiterated Pakistan’s unstinting moral, diplomatic and political support for the Kashmir cause.

It adopted a unanimous resolution moved by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi, expressing solidarity with the oppressed Kashmiri people in their just struggle for the realisation of their right to self-determination. It recalled that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute remains one of the oldest unresolved international disputes on the United Nations’ agenda, mindful of numerous United Nations Security Council Resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute adopted since 1948. The house paid rich tribute to the valour, courage and sacrifices of the people of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

It appreciated the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir for their steadfast political support to their Kashmiri brothers and sisters living across the Line of Control.

Rejecting India’s unilateral and illegal actions since 5th August 2019, it expressed grave concern over attempts to introduce demographic changes in the IIOJK, inter-alia, through the issuance of domicile certificates to outsiders, allowing the purchase of land by non-Kashmiris, the addition of temporary residents to the voters’ lists and fresh delimitation of electoral constituencies. The resolution emphasised that any political process, held under foreign occupation, cannot be a substitute to the exercise of the right to self-determination by the people of Jammu and Kashmir as provided in the relevant UNSC Resolutions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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