ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly on Thursday saw sharp criticism on the Pakistan protection ordinance by some opposition legislators, who called it a violation of the fundamental rights of the people.
Taking part in two-day debate on the sensitive subject of law and order, lawmakers from opposition groups, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Awami Muslim League, appeared to have almost the same emotions over the controversial ordinance.
Both MQM and PTI, while speaking on a motion moved by Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid, viewed the ordinance as running parallel to the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act, 1990, promulgated in the occupied Kashmir by India. It allowed the Indian forces to carry out inhumane actions against the Muslims in Kashmir, they stated.
MQM’s Nabeel Gabol said his party would offer stiff resistance if the government intended to table the Pakistan protection ordinance. He feared that Muttahida might be pressed in Karachi under the cover of this ordinance.
He claimed that MQM supported the operation against criminals in Karachi, and said he felt the operation had been diverted to MQM, as over 35 Muttahida workers were still missing.
Taking part in the debate, PTI's Shireen Mazari said the PPO was almost the same as the draconian law brought by India in held-Kashmir so it might make the situation the worst. She also said that anti-terrorism law was already there to deal with terrorism issues.
Mazari gave four measures to control the worsening law and order situation in the country. She said the country should be pulled out of anti-terrorism war of the United States to deprive extremists’ narrative of ‘Jihad’, judges should be protected as well as witnesses, mindsets should be changed, and police should be de-politicized especially to ensure law and order in Karachi.
AML chief Sheikh Rashid, on his turn, said the federal capital (Islamabad) was prone to terrorists as killing of Jalaluddin Haqqani's son in Islamabad was a testimony to this fact.
About Rawalpindi Aushra tragedy, he said all police officials had been deputed on protocol duty to ensure security during Aushra.
State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmed assured the House he would submit a complete report by Monday.
Earlier, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan paid tributes to outgoing chief justice of Pakistan Ifikthar Chaudhry and former COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. He said he would only welcome new ones on these positions, as time would tell how they acted in their capacities.
The minister said Kayani had given respect to civilian authority during his tenure and he had commitment with democracy. About Iftikhar Chaudhry, he said although some would differ but former CJ had written history in judicial history of the country.
Nisar was much critical of the federal cabinet when the petroleum minister was not present to give response on a call-attention notice regarding his ministry. He went to say that if they could not come then they should leave their positions. He asked the chair to move a privilege motion if the authorities concerned did not come to respond about his agenda.
Later the petroleum minister after a while came in the House and informed that due to severe shortage gas could not be provided to CNG sector. He further said their first priority was the domestic consumer.
Responding about Pak-Iran gas pipeline, he was of the view that it could not move forward until the United States and EU completely lifted the sanctions on Iran.
Earlier, the minister for railways, during the Question-hour, informed the House that the Railway Ministry had not received any money from Royal Palm deal. He further said as been moved to probe it.