Senators raised issue of target killing in FATA

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ISLAMABAD: The upper house of parliament on Monday, met after a two-day recess, taking the floor after JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmed raised the issue of target killings in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), Mr Rabbani said he believed that the government, especially Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, should take the house into confidence about the status of the talks with the TTP.

The opposition members belonging to the PTI and Jamaat-i-Islami participated in the proceedings wearing black armbands.

PPP Senator Raza Rabbani asked the government to take the Senate into confidence on the talks with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) amid reports that the latter had been demanding rolling back of the merger of the country’s tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Mr Rabbani said first it was announced that the TTP had declared a temporary ceasefire, which was later turned into a permanent ceasefire, but one of the factions of the TTP had increased terrorist activities in the country.

“What are the conditions of the TTP for the agreement? I have heard through media that the TTP’s patent demand is rolling back of the merger of Fata and they are adamant on it. Such decisions are to be made by the public and not behind the doors,” he said.

When the PPP leader asked Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanj­rani to issue directives for the defence minister to come to the house for a brie­fing, the chairman gave no response and started seeking approval of the leave applications of the members.

Referring to a recent visit of a jirga to Afghanistan, Mr Rabbani said jirgas were not a substitute to parliament. He said there would be no acceptability of the any deal with the TTP without parliament’s nod.

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