ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution demanding the government to form a judicial commission to probe and fix the responsibility of the recent riots in Badami Bagh Lahore, besides expediting the payment of compensation to the victims' families.
The resolution was moved by Minister for Interfaith Harmony Akram Masih Gill that was later adopted unanimously by the House. The house also expressed sorrow over the torching of over 170 houses of Christians following the allegation of blasphemy against Sawan Masih, a Christian.
Terming the incident national disaster, the House condemned any act of blasphemy against any religion across the world.
The National Assembly also demanded of the government to carry out the legislation, if required, in this regard and proceed against the people responsible for riots and name the accused in the FIR registered by Badami Bagh Police Station.
The House also asked the government to expedite the disbursement of amount of compensation as announced and ensure early reconstruction of damaged houses.
Earlier, the Lower House of Parliament also held discussion on law and order situation in the country, suspending the Question Hour session and most of the other agenda items on Orders of the Day. Opening the discussion, Asiya Nasir of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl said at the moment, the minorities and other citizens only need protection of their lives and properties, so the Parliament should also ponder over these issues instead of legislation and other routine business.
Mentioning to Badami Bagh arson in Lahore, she said Punjab government was exporting extremism and terrorism and the administration seemed to be helpless to control the rioters.
She said the PML-N leader was responsible for the offence and the Punjab government was required to mend its ways and policies for sake of minorities' protection.
Asiya Nasir said the shifting of onus on land mafia was also irrational, so the provincial and the federal governments should work out strategies to ensure security of the lives and properties of the people.
She said the non-Muslim communities would never leave their homeland for what they were being compelled rather they would render any sacrifice for national security.
She asked the PML-N leadership to explain as what steps were being taken in Punjab to root out extremism from the province.
Taking part in the discussion, Khawaja Sohail Mansoor strongly condemned the Lahore incident and said such tragedies were contrary to the ideology of Pakistan that had called for freedom of worship for the people belonging to any religion.
He said the chief secretary concerned should be made responsible for the incident and sought threadbare discussion by the Parliament on law and order situation of the country.
He said the police squads have been deployed even for the protection of the ministers and other political leaders leaving the common citizens at mercy of the militants.
He also opposed holding of dialogue with the terror groups and said killers of innocent people should be taken to task for their inhuman acts.
Khawaja Saad Rafiq said innocent people could not be punished for other's crime and condemned the Badami Bagh arson. He also assured that the action would be taken against the criminals.
Abdul Qadri Baloch said the Lahore incident is being played up unnecessarily just for political point scoring.
He said the issue was not a religious one rather it was extremist that can be remedied through national strategy, adding Badami Bagh incident was conspiracy to mar peace in Punjab province that had been safe compared to other federating units.
Minister for Interfaith Harmony Akram Masih Gill said the parents had handed over the accused boy to the police for alleged blasphemy but despite that the houses of Christians were burnt to ashes.
He said majority of the convicts under blasphemy law comprised Muslims but their settlements had never been damaged unlike the Christians.
He said the police personnel were standing helpless before the crime scene.
Gill stressed the Parliament to ensure that the blasphemy law is not misused and added that the religious scholars should spread the message of peace and co-existence.