ISLAMABAD - Former Interior Minister and PPP lawmaker Rehman Malik on Friday warned the government that its ongoing peace talks with the banned outfit were clear violation of the Constitution and proposed that outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) should be removed from the list of proscribed organisations.
Senator Rehman Malik, on a point of order, sought clarification from the PML-N led Federal government that it should clear an ambiguity regarding the peace talks as under Clause 11-A of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997, the government could not go into any peace agreement with a banned outfit like TTP. He also kept on stating that TTP could be excluded from the list of proscribed organisations as this demand was also coming from certain quarters.
Rehman Malik showing his apprehensions asked whether the politicians were not being pushed towards Article 6 of the Constitution of high treason as some members of political parties including Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) were part of the negotiating team from both sides.
He feared that a case could be registered against the members of negotiating teams under the law and said that Constitutional experts should be consulted in this connection. He stated that anybody could go to the Supreme Court against any likely peace agreement and then fate of this agreement would hang in the balance. "Please clear this uncertain situation," he requested the government.
However, Rehman Malik made it clear that his party was not opposing the peace talks as an All Parties Conference (APC) had given the mandate to the government for holding a peace dialogue with the militant groups.
PPP lawmaker guessed that TTP might reorganise as well as regroup itself on the pretext of peace talks as such agreements proved counterproductive that were made with the militant groups in 2004, 2005 and 2008. He said that the outlawed groups got a breathing space because of the peace agreements, energised themselves and then lashed out at Swat and Malakand.
He said that there must be some Terms of Reference (TORs) for the peace talks and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should come in the Senate and take the House into confidence. The masses should also be taken into confidence in this regard, he said before the House was adjourned till Monday at 3pm. Earlier, Parliamentary leader of JUI-F in the Senate, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri staged a protest walk-out from the House what he called the indifferent attitude of the PPP-led Sindh government over its failure to trace some abducted workers of his party, some four days ago.
On a point of order, Haideri said that four workers of his party and a district Secretary of JUI- F was abducted in Sindh on the road passing between Shikarpur and Sukkur and police was unable to trace them so far. "Either Sindh government was unmoved to trace them or it is an accomplice with the culprits," he said.
Senator Zahid Khan as Chairman of the Committee presented the report of the Senate Standing Committee on Water and Power for a period starting from March 21, 2013 to September, 2013 before the House.
He said that the report was important in the nature as some lacunas had been found in the two agreements made by the government with a private firm for the privatisation of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC). He said under an agreement, the Government of Pakistan would bear all the losses and liabilities of the company.
"What is the use of the privatisation of State owned institutions if all of their liabilities would have to be taken by the government," he questioned. The House will resume its debate on the political and law and order situation of the country on Monday, after a break of two days.