ISLAMABAD - The ruling party PML-N on Monday pre-empted full-fledged debate about responsibility of the federation and provinces in fighting terrorism jointly by taking the plea that such a debate could harm peace talks between the government and Taliban.
“Let’s give space to the dialogue process till the time it is matured. It is in embryonic phase, therefore, I request the chair to take up the agenda as per the decision of the House Advisory Committee,” Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq said in response to a query by Chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari.
The chairman in the same breath gave his ruling that the commenced motion moved by Senator Nisar Muhammad Khan under Rule 218 on January 13, 2014 has been talked out and gave the floor to PPP parliamentary leader Mian Raza Rabbani to move his new adjournment motion on political and law and order situation in the country.
The motion was unanimously adopted for discussion and the House was adjourned till Tuesday.
Nisar Muhammad Khan through his motion had sought to discuss the responsibility of the federation in pursuance of Article 148 of the constitution that basically deals with protection of life, honour and property of the citizens of Pakistan.
Initiating the debate on the motion, Senator Nisar Muhammad Khan observed that fighting terrorism was the sole responsibility of the federal government under clause three of Article 148 while the provincial governments were responsible for maintenance of law and order.
According to him, since terrorism against the state of Pakistan is a sort of external aggression and evidence suggests that foreign hands are also involved, therefore, it is responsibility of the federation rather than any provincial government to tackle it.
Speaking on the motion, MQM leader Col (Retd) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi questioned the peace talks, saying the constitution does not allow peace talks with any disbanded organisation.
He said that unfortunately there was no government in Pakistan neither at federal level nor at the provincial level. He also cited the example of France, which has prepared itself for fighting any cyber war.
Senator Ilyas Bilour from ANP while speaking on the motion, said that more than 750 of his party men had fallen victim of terrorism, therefore, it was imperative that the federal government and KPK government jointly discharge the responsibility in fighting terrorism.
Senator Zahid Khan from ANP questioned the federal government’s silence over PTI government in KPK in blocking NATO containers.
“We do not want the federal government to trespass the provincial autonomy but the fact remains that it is prime responsibility of the federal government to question the mandate of the KPK government in stopping NATO containers,” he asserted.
Senator Abdul Rauf from Balochistan alleged that foreign nationals in Pakistan are responsible for the bad law and order in the country and advised the government to reform its foreign and internal security policies to meet the present day needs.
Earlier, the House unanimously passed five resolutions on various subjects and disposed of one commenced motion about dual nationality of judges of the higher judiciary.
Giving his ruling on the commenced motion relating to dual nationality of the judges, the chair directed that it should be sent to the prime minister for his notice.
One of the five resolutions passed by the House called upon the government to revisit the official Secret Act 1923.
The resolution moved by Senator Farhatullah Babar called upon the government to drastically amend the Official Secrets Act of 1923 and make it consistent with the constitutionally guaranteed right to information, fair trial and fundamental rights.