ISLAMABAD - A senior PPP lawmaker on Monday in the Senate questioning the composition of the government-led peace talks committee said it did not represent all the stakeholders as it comprised the people of same ideology and the ongoing talks were being held between the right wing and extreme right wing.
Other lawmakers showed their resentment about the recent incidents of terrorism taking place in different parts of the country amid the ongoing peace talks suggesting that the government should not become a silent spectator and strong action should be initiated against them. They seeking clarity of the government’s policy in this connection said terrorists could not be let loose on the pretext to peace talks.
PPP’s parliamentary leader in the Senate and senior lawmaker Mian Raza Rabbani on a point of order said that all the stakeholders had not been included in the peace talks committee as it only represented the right wing and had no representation of democratic liberal left wing.
“Democratic liberal left wing parties are also stakeholders and have also representation in the present parliamentary system,” he said adding that it seemed that a dialogue process was going on between right wing and extreme right wing.
Rabbani reiterated his earlier demand that an all-party parliamentary committee should be formed to oversee the peace talks process. He also sought that an in-camera session of the Parliament should be summoned to brief it about the status of peace talks.
He stressed that the system under the law was not up for the negotiations and there was place in the Constitution to hold peace talks with banned groups.
Reacting to the statement of Rabbani, Leader of the House in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq remarked that the Prime Minister had already stated that talks would be held within the ambit of the Constitution. He underscored that the talks would succeed only after the endorsement of the Parliament. Former interior minister and PPP legislator Rehman Malik, taking part in the debate on political and law and order of the country, proposed that Afghanistan should be taken on board in connection with the peace talks.
He sought from the government to inform about the steps taken to repatriate chief of banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Fazalullah. He also demanded that the government should make public the names of factions of TTP whom it was negotiating with as the banned out fit had 19 to 20 factions. He said why TTP was not announcing the ceasefire.
Malik stressed that the demand of imposition of Shariah by TTP was unreasonable as even a single article of the Constitution was not against the provisions of Islam. He said that the government should identify those who were sabotaging peace process. Haji Adeel said that how the government committee would sit with the TTP committee as one of its members had said that he did not accept the Constitution, as it was not based on Shariah.
Saeed Ghani endorsing Rabbani said that the government should take action against those elements that were involved in terrorism activities during the talks process. He said that the government should clear its policy in this connection.
While Moulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of JUI-F questioned whether the Islamic clauses of 1973 Constitution were ever implemented? Whether the suggestions of Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) were ever put into practice, he said.
Mukhtiar Ahmed Damrah rejected the demand of TTP to release its prisoners and said that those could not be let loose who murdered thousands of people. He said even the demand was un-Islamic. He also said that some groups could not be allowed to do terrorist activities on the pretext of talks. He said that third force involved in such activities should be identified.
Zahid Khan of ANP also endorsed Damrah the people who were blowing gas pipelines should be identified and it was the responsibility of the government to stop them.
Chairman Senate Nayyer Hussain Bokhari on a commenced motion of Dr Saeed Iqbal ruled that a special committee should be formed in the consultations with Leader of the House as well as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate to improve the status of federal capital and to bring it at par with other capitals of the world.
He also remarked that there was stopgap arrangement in the federal capital to run its affairs and the committee should see the models of capitals of other federating units of the world.
Chairman Senate referred the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014, moved by Senator Haji Adeel to the concerned standing committee. The bill aims to give the status of all languages, including Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi and Seraiki, of the federating units as national languages.
The chair also referred another bill, titled the Privatization Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2014 to the concerned committee that was moved by Senator Syeda Sughra Imam and aimed to bring transparency in the entire privatisation process in Pakistan and to protect Pakistan’s economic and strategic interests.