ISLAMABAD - While alarming bells on the horrible incident of Abbas Town bomb blast in Karachi, many lawmakers in the Senate Monday said that a situation was being engineered to delay the general elections while a senior PPP lawmaker remarked that Karachi and Quetta blasts had links with IP gas pipeline project and the handing over of Gwadar Port to China.
Some Senators viewed Shia community was being specifically targeted and this bad situation could push the country towards civil war. They also appreciated the role of Shi scholars and their religious leaders for showing tolerance fearing otherwise the situation could turn ugly.
Senior PPP leader and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security Mian Raza Rabbani said that Abbas Town blast and Quetta blasts on Shia community could not be seen out of the context of international and regional politics. He expressed his regret that Foreign Office was silent on the issue. He said there was a blast in Quetta when Gwadar Port was handed over to Chinese company through MoU and now blast occurred in Karachi when the government was going to finalize the agreement of Iran Pakistan gas pipeline. “These two important and courageous decisions of the government have implications,” he said adding that US was talking about imposing sanction on Pakistan. He said Pakistan would have to take the final decision on the national security of the country as its top priority; otherwise the sate would begin to wither and warned the time was running short. He also said that the holding of general elections was the constitutional requirement and if some one delayed he would be guilty of the subversion f the Constitution.
Earlier, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) from the opposition side staged a protest walkout from the house on Abbas Town bomb blast after Tahir Hussain Mushhadi held responsible the intelligence agencies, federal and provincial interior ministries and law enforcement agencies including Rangers for their failure to avert the incident. H said that all had failed while the police and Rangers had been deployed on VIP duties in Karachi instead of protecting the poor masses. He also said that US had no relation with Karachi blast.
Saeed Ghani of PPP who always leaves no opportunity to criticize the apex court said that 1200 police officials were removed from their posts in Karachi on the orders of Supreme Court and that had spread a sense of disappointment among the force.
Zafar Ali Shah of PML-N said the house should discuss the issue and suggest a way forward before the Shia community would seek help of the UN causing embarrassment for the country.
JUI-F staged a protest walkout from the senate over the non-fulfilment of government’s promises with the journalists community and the non-payment of the compensation to those journalists that killed in the line of their duty. The journalists covering the parliamentary proceedings had boycotted the press gallery on such issues before an assurance came from Finance Minster.
Kalsoom Perveen of BNP-Awami said the Shia community was showing tolerance otherwise a civil war in the country might have started following terrorism incidents ij Quetta and Karachi. Kamal Ali Agha of PML-Q said that rescue teams could not reach the blast site in Karachi well in time and responsibility should be fixed. He also said that Lahore was meeting unannounced and unbearable power and gas load shedding.
Leader of the Opposition Ishaq Dar and his party colleague Mushahidullh Khan criticized the Interior Minister Rehman Malik for the blasts in Quetta and Karachi. Mr Dar said that the minister was not ready to give an in camera briefing to the house on security situation that he had offered voluntarily. He said the government should share facts besides giving statement, that come from interior minister, that foreign funding was involved and there was a geo global syndrome facing Pakistan. Mohsin Leghari said that the minister had damaged the credibility of the interior ministry.
Muzaffar Hussain Shah of PML-F questioned why police reached late on the blast site in Karachi and sought that the government should tell whether elections could be held in this volatile situation
Mushahid Hussain Syed demanded an independent foreign policy and said that situation would not only delay the elections but the future of Pakistan would be bleak. He urged the need for the formation of an effective counter-terrorism strategy.
The House also unanimously passed the Abolition of the Discretionary Quotas in Housing Schemes Bill, 2012.While the Regulation of Foreign Contribution Bill, 2013, meant to regulate the acceptance and utilization of foreign contribution by NGOs, to the standing committee concerned. Ishaq Dar was the mover of both the bills.
The house also amended the Rule 165, sub-rule (1), increasing the minimum and maximum number of members of the house committees, from nine to twelve and from twelve to fourteen respectively on the proposal of Haji Adeel. The house on February 26 had amended the rule that was reverted through another amendment.