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ANP, MQM join hands over Karachi situation

11 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The Awami National Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Friday demanded action in Karachi over continuing violence and bemoaned killing of their workers.

At the beginning of the Senate session, the MQM and ANP senators staged a walkout over the situation in Karachi, particularly continuing targeting of their parties' political workers. There was a heated debate during the session over the situation in Karachi. MQM's Tahir Mashadi said 150 workers of his party had been killed in the city. "The city of Karachi is no longer worth living in," Mashadi remarked. Shahi Syed of the ANP demanded a military operation in the city, stating that the workers of his party were being targeted. Syed added that terrorism could not be eliminated until terrorist safe havens were destroyed.

He also demanded disbandment of militant wings of different political parties in Karachi. Noting the killing of SSP Chaudhry Aslam, whom he called a brave officer, he said that the government's writ in the city was gradually diminishing, as uniformed personnel were also falling victims to terrorists now. PML-N's Senator Hamza urged the House to approve the name of Chaudhry Aslam for the highest civil award. The House prayed for the departed soul and courage to the bereaved family.

The senators also unanimously passed a resolution to pay tribute to Chaudhry Aslam and Aitezaz Hussain, both of whom were killed in separate militant attacks. Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq, while paying tribute to the deceased police officer, said that he sacrificed his life to protect the citizens. Meanwhile, Senate Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bokhari said on Friday that the federal government and bureaucracy never take parliament seriously and always give wrong replies to the questions senators pose.

While discussing several questions relating to the Establishment Division, Bokhari said the attitude of the government is totally against parliament. "Even the federal minister for parliamentary affairs, Sheikh Aftab, faced embarrassment while responding to senators' quarries," he said. Bokhari said the minister's response revealed that he was not properly briefed, or was wrongly briefed by the Establishment Division, and over several occasions he requested the chair to defer the questions so he could come back the next day with details.

The Senate chairman directed the ministry concerned and leader of the House to bring exact answers to all the questions raised by the senators. He warned he would summon those secretaries who do not give due importance to parliament. The chairman referred one question to Senate Committee on Rules and Procedures and deferred others. Meanwhile, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed Friday assured the Senate that after the finalisation of Benazir Income Support Programme's (BISP) annual report it will be made public.


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