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ISLAMABAD: The lawmakers in National Assembly on Friday strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Bajaur that claimed dozens of lives earlier this week and called for taking effective measures to eradicate the menace of terrorism from the country.

The house resumed its session with deputy speaker Zahid Durrani in the chair. The MPs from across the aisle were unanimous in demanding to take on any and all entities that resort to terror activities with full force of the state.

Muhammad Jamaluddin, a lawmaker belonging to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), whose party gathering came under terrorist attack in Bajaur, said that tribal people always supported Pakistan and never damaged government properties.

Bajaur suicide bombing death toll rises to 63

“The state should deal with the menace of terrorism with full might and a jirga of tribal people is always looking into the matter and it will decide what could be done to eradicate the scourge of terrorism,” he added. He said that the state especially the law enforcement agencies should take stringent measures to stop the reoccurrence of such gruesome incidents.

He thanked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for announcing Rs2 million compensation, each for those who lost their lives in Bajaur incident and inquiring after the health of injured people during his visit to Peshawar.

He also thanked the governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the chief secretary and the caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for providing a helicopter to transport the injured people to Peshawar’s hospitals and other necessary assistance.

Nuzhat Pathan, a dissident of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said the entire parliament strongly condemned the tragic incident in Bajaur, adding there should be a zero tolerance policy for terrorism.

Maulana Salahuddin Ayubi of the JUI-F said that innocent people including children were brutally killed in the terrorist attack, adding it was the responsibility of the state and its institutions to provide security to the people.

Musa Gilani of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) also condemned the Bajaur terrorist attack, saying the state must ensure the protection of the life and property of its people.

He also called for a constitutional amendment on the pattern of the 18th amendment to strengthen local bodies’ system in the country.

“The development funds should be spent through local bodies system,” he added.

Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali of Jamaat-e-Islami sought strict action against high-ups of the Interior Ministry for disrespecting the members of the National Assembly.

He also urged the chair to direct the Interior Ministry to complete the process for armed licenses to the parliamentarians and handed it to them by Monday.

He also called for filing vacant 4,800 vacancies in the Peshawar Electric Supply Company immediately.

Dr Fehmida Mirza of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) also stressed the need for coercive measures to eradicate terrorism incidents. She said that the parliament is used like a rubber stamp which is evident from the bulk of legislation by the outgoing assembly, adding the legislation will not benefit the masses as their sole issue is rising inflation.

Speaking on a point of order, Federal Minister for Water Resources Khursheed Shah sought the chair’s ruling to ensure implementation of the recommendations of the National Assembly’s special committee on affected employees.

He said that a committee was set up in light of the resolution passed by the house to provide relief to sacked employees under the chairmanship of Qadir Khan Mandokhail. However, he regretted that 80 percent of its recommendations were yet to be implemented.

The NA deputy speaker, who was presiding over the session, directed all public sector departments to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the special committee on affected employees without any delay.

He warned that any delay in implementing his ruling would leave him no option but to take strict action.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi informed the house that Pakistan has always forcefully raised the plight of people of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) at all world forums. Replying to a question during question hour, he said that all the political parties have a united stance on the Kashmir dispute, adding the Human Rights Ministry defended issues, complaints and related matters on human rights through the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

He said that the concerns were usually conveyed by the United Nations, the EU, and the US State Department, adding some international NGOs such as Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch also share their concerns against the state of Pakistan on human rights issues.

“Such concerns include freedom of expression, custodial torture, extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearance, protection of minorities, women rights and child rights, etc,” he added.

He said accordingly, the Human Rights Ministry submitted its responses through the Foreign Affairs Ministry as per the given mandate under the Rules of Business. Additionally, various UN treaty bodies communicate their observations/ recommendations as a result of a review of obligatory reports submitted by Pakistan on ratified human rights conventions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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