ISLAMABAD Former Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sherry Reh-man Tuesday urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo moto notice of the activities of banned outfits in Punjab.
Speaking on a point of order in the National Assembly, Sherry said that the concerns of MNA Sheikh Waqas Akram regarding the Punjab Law Ministers meeting with the leader of a banned outfit for an election campaign in Jhang are true and added that such banned organizations were challenging the writ of the government.
These banned organisations have been freely holding public gatherings and rallies in Punjab, which is against the foreign policy of the country. Who are they to challenge our foreign policy and who is patronising them? Sherry said.
She said that the nation was fighting a war on terror and 5,000 innocent people had lost their lives in this regard, while on the other hand banned outfits were free to do everything. To hold rallies on Kashmir Day is only the right of political parties not of the banned outfits, the former Information Minister said. She demanded of the Interior Ministry to inform the House about those parties who were patronizing them.
Later, on a point of order MNA Sheikh Waqas Akram alleged that during a rally in Jhang on February 22 the workers of banned outfits raised slogans against a sect calling them 'Kafir. He said that it all was happening in the presence of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah.
He also criticised the Punjab Law Minister for his statement what he called that the outfit is banned but its voters are not banned. Waqas questioned that who had forced the government to ban the outfit.
Meanwhile, Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior Abdul Qadir Patel said that Shiekh Waqas Akram had also raised such matters in the meetings of the committee but the attitude of Interior Ministry was highly irresponsible. We have recommended several things to the Interior Ministry during these meetings but they did not pay heed to these recommendations, Patel said.
However, Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Rai Mujtaba Kharal said that the country was in the state of war and it could not afford sectarian violence. Interior Ministry has taken the notice of the incident and we will ask concerned officials of Punjab to give a detailed report.
Responding to a point of order, Minister for Labour and Manpower Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah said that the government was taking concrete measures to overcome extremism from the society and bring harmony among various sects.
He said that the federal government has taken notice of the incident took place in Jhang and the Punjab government has been asked to investigate into the matter and take appropriate measures in this regard.
The Minister said that the Armed Forces are engaged in combating terrorism and in this critical time there was a need for promotion of religious harmony instead of supporting extremists.
PML-N MNA Aftab Sheikh, however, said that he would take up the issue with the Punjab government and would inform the House in this regard.