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PPP senators divided over motorcycle ban

17 November, 2012

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ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) senators were on Friday divided over a ban on motorcycles in Karachi and Quetta with Babar Awan and Raza Rabbani opposing it and Interior Minister Rehman Malik defending the decision quoting intelligence reports.

On a point of order, Raza Rabbani informed the House that the decision of the interior minister to ban motorbikes in Karachi and Quetta affected about 1.8 million people. He said people greatly suffered while commuting to their offices and schools. He claimed that ban on motorbike will not help in improving law and order situation in Karachi.

Instead of taking short-term measures, the government must present a long-term strategy against terrorism, Rabbani argued. Replying to Rabbani's statement, the interior minister said if the state sees a threat it can take any measure to stop it from materialising.

Citing intelligence reports he said there are threats of terrorism through motorcycle. He told the senators that intelligence reports had suggested that a third force was active to destabilise the government and mar the democratic system by creating a law and order situation.

"This is a very important national concern and I want to share with the House that there was a plot to use motorcycle bombs here on Friday." He also said that motorcycles were used in 438 bomb attacks across the country during the current year, whereas 96 motorcycles were destroyed in bomb attacks in Karachi alone.

Malik said he would appeal in the Supreme Court against the Sindh High Court's decision against the ban on motorcycles in Karachi on the first day of Muharram. The decision, he said, was taken after consultation with the government of Sindh and the prime minister.

End.

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