ISLAMABAD - The federal government has owned the war against terrorism with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan telling the National Assembly that what is happening in country’s streets and neighbourhoods is ‘our war’.
Speaking on a point of order on Thursday, Nisar said the security situation of the country is ‘grave’ and “we will have to pay a heavy price” to deal with it, as he said the federal government is in the process of formation and urged the provincial governments to also devise their own effective policies in this regard.
The treasury and opposition benches on Thursday also agreed in principle to form a parliamentary committee to probe allegations of rigging in the May 11 general elections and also suggest electoral measures to prevent mal-practices in future. Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi asked the heads of the parties to nominate their members for a meeting tomorrow on terms of reference of the committee.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, on point of order, proposed this committee in response to the allegations of rigging raised by PTI. He proposed that caretaker prime minister and chief ministers should be summoned during the probe. He also said that action should be taken against the responsible and those elected through rigging.
"I received a letter from Deputy Parliamentary Leader of PTI about rigging issue. Those entered in assembly through rigging should be de-seated, as government is ready to give power to the probe committee," he added. He said, he was giving a ‘blank cheque’ to all political parties for finalising the terms of reference and all government departments would extend all assistance to the committee.
Taking the floor, PTI legislator Shah Mehmood Qureshi made a point that his party suggested a probe to avoid rigging in future elections. Welcoming the government decision, leader of opposition in the national assembly Syed Khursheed Shah said that this committee should have been formed earlier. "There should be specific timeframe to clear all reservations," he added.
Taking the agenda items, the house deferred a motion about formation of NA standing committees following criticism by opposition benches. The members from PTI, MQM and JI strongly opposed the distribution of members in the committees, saying their parties members were not accommodated as per assurance.
PTI's Mehmood Qureshi said his party has not been given proper share. Leader of Opposition Khursheed Shah also supported him but he did not speak about his party’s share. MQM’s Asif Hasnain also said his party was ignored, while Tariq Ulla from JI also demanded proper representation for his party. PML-N senior leaders Sheikh Aftab and Rana Tanvir said the committees have yet not been formed and there composition could be altered. The motion was then deferred to make consensus on it.
Earlier, responding to a point of order, Interior Minister Ch Nisar said a meeting of major parliamentary parties would be held this month to evolve consensus over national security policy, which would envisage a strong intelligence system and strengthen the security institutions. He said the government would welcome the input of all the parliamentarians. He said the entire nation, including all political parties and institutions, would have to join hands to deal with this serious challenge.
The minister also called upon the provincial governments to devise their own proactive security policies. He said the centre on its part would continue to support the provinces, as the federal government was sharing intelligence reports with the provincial governments but it was their responsibility to deal with internal security. He urged the provincial governments to revitalise their intelligence institutions including CID and Special Branch to thwart terror attacks.
During the Question Hour, Ch Nisar said the government has imposed ban on the issuance of new arms licences to improve overall law and order situation. He said around 549,000 arms licenses were issued by the previous government which contributed to worsening of the situation. The minister said old arms licenses would also go under review and they would be replaced by new computerised Nadra licences.