ISLAMABAD: The lawmakers in National Assembly on Wednesday strongly condemned the brutal killing of a woman along with her two sons allegedly by Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran– a tribal chieftain who is also a sitting provincial minister – in Barkhan area of Balochistan.

Tension has gripped Balochistan after the Levies force discovered three bodies – a woman and her two sons – from a well in Barkhan district, triggering a strong protest by the local Marri tribesmen. The protesters have accused Khetran of killing the woman along with her two sons after keeping them in his private prison.

Speaking in the house, Maulana Abdul Akber Chitrali of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) demanded the government to take strictest possible action against the accused, saying people involved in such incidents should be given exemplary punishment.

He said that neither Islam nor the constitution permits such barbarism, and whosoever is involved in this inhuman incident must not go scot-free.

Dr Shehnaz Baloch of the Balochistan National Party (BNP) said it is the state which has failed to ensure basic human rights to the people of Balochistan.

She said that such inhuman incidents are the result of inequalities in development as other provinces of the country especially Punjab have grown, but Balochistan still lags behind.

As there has been no letup in incidents of the enforced disappearance of men, she added, the irony of the fate is that now Baloch women are being picked.

“Sardar Akhtar Mengal has been raising voice on enforced disappearance issue for the last so many years but no one pays heed to it. This is the reason now women are being kept in private prisons and then killed […] there is no one to listen to their plights,” she lamented.

She said that Punjab and Balochistan are poles apart as far as development is concerned, adding more than 60 per cent of people in Balochistan rank lowest on health, education, and other social indicators.

Syed Mehmood Shah of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) said that the killing of a mother along with her two sons must be investigated and the people involved in this heinous crime should be given exemplary punishment.

Saira Bano of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) said that there is no hope for justice in this country to penalize such people involved in these kinds of barbarism, and cruelty.

She said that the issue in question should be dealt with as a test case to make those involved in it an example for the rest of their lives.

Nasiba Channa of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said that the incident which took place in Balochistan must not be hushed up to protect the influential chieftain allegedly involved in the killing of the woman and her sons.

Muhammad Abubaker of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) regretted that despite the passage of 75 years, Pakistan is a country which still lives in the “stone age”. He said that the way the women are being treated in the country is shameful which is evident from the private jail by a chieftain where he kept a woman and then brutally killed her.

Naz Baloch of PPP said that the way a woman and her sons were killed is cruel, and there are no words to condemn the gruesome incident. She said that the women in Balochistan regularly face discrimination, assault, and murder in the name of honour which must come to an end or it will have serious repercussions both nationally and internationally. “A thorough probe into the matter should be ordered and all those involved in it should be given exemplary punishment no matter how influential they are,” she maintained.

Shaista Pervaiz of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) demanded strict action against the administration of Gomal University in Dera Ismail Khan for banning mixed-gender gatherings of students on premises.

She warned that if no action is taken against Gomal University administration, which has directed female students to be careful and limit themselves in their classrooms and the department’s common rooms, the country may soon become another Afghanistan for the girls, where girls’ education has been banned by Taliban. “We must stop it today or else it will engulf the whole country and I’m afraid to say that the country may become another Afghanistan for girls’ education,” she warned.

The Speaker National Assembly, Raja Pervez Ashraf, directed the minister for education to seek a report from Gomal University’s vice chancellor and present it to the house.

Muhammad Jamaluddin of JUI-F demanded action against COMSATS University Islamabad for an objectionable quiz. He said that the teacher who asked the obscene question contrary to Islamic teachings and social values, and should be penalised.

Meanwhile, Nadeem Khan Khayal from Hangu, who had contested on the ticket of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, won NA-33 Hangu by-election on April 17, 2022, was sworn in as member of National Assembly.

A government bill and two reports of standing committees on legislative proposals were presented in the house.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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