ISLAMABAD - The opposition parties on Monday in the Senate demanded resignation of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan over security lapse at Karachi airport.

A senior lawmaker questioned the interior minister’s silence on this terrorist incident.

The opposition demanded a full-fledged operation throughout the country including North Waziristan Agency, South Waziristan Agency, south Punjab and other areas on the pattern of Swat-Malakand operation to flush out terrorism. A senior PPP lawmaker sought resignation of Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Aviation Division Shujaat Azeem for the Karachi airport terrorist incident.

The opposition benches resembled Karachi airport terrorist incident with Mehran Airbase terrorist attack, Kamra Airbase terrorist attack and GHQ attack and said terrorists were roaming freely and go wherever they want.

Rehman Malik’s remarks forced the Leader of the House in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq to stand up and he reminded the chair that the government was being held responsible even those terrorist incidents that took place in the last regime. Who had resigned then? he questioned in the presence of a demand of resignation of Chaudhry Nisar.

When the house started debate on law and order, setting aside the debate on the annual budget after the nod of the Leader of the House, Senator Main Raza Rabbani coming down hard on Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan questioned why the minister was silent after the Karachi airport incident and he even went to Karachi after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif gave such directions. “Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan must accept responsibility and accepting responsibility, he must resign,” he asserted. “I demand accountability because as far as accountability would not be held, institutions will not function... There is no reason that interior minister would occupy this position after this incident and Special Assistant to PM on Aviation must resign after accepting responsibility of the incident,” said Rabbani in a loud tone.

Mentioning the other days incidents including terrorist incident in Taftan as well as North Waziristan and killing of people in Dera Bugti, he remarked that the seriousness of the government could be seen from the fact that even a single minister was not present in the upper house. “Where is interior minister... where are both the ministers for interior,” he said, adding that no statement of interior minister has come on the incident. “It looks interior minister had boycotted his own people after the Senate boycott,” he said. He said that federation was burning and it was facing serious dangers.

Rabbani questioned wherefrom such heavy weapons and ammunition were brought at Karachi airport as this could not be brought without a vehicle. “Where is intelligence? Why prior warning was not given?” he asked. He pointed out that National Internal Security Policy (NISP) of the government had totally failed. “Where is NISP?...you crippled NCMC (National Crisis Management Cell) and NACTA was not made functional,” he said.

Former interior minister Rehman Malik demanded launch of a full-fledged operation in the tribal and settled areas of the country, wherever it is needed, to flush out terrorist. Blaming India behind fuelling terrorism in the country, he said that India never accepted the very existence of Pakistan since its establishment. Though he said that he would not go into blame game, yet he equally held the present government responsible for the terrorist incidents. “I call upon the PM, government and Senate Chairman to hold inquiry, fix responsibility and some heads should be rolled,” He asserted.

He criticising the TTP leadership said that security agencies of Afghanistan are supporting terrorists like Mullah Fazlullah and Shahidullah Shahid. He said, “Where is US, an ally of Pakistan in war on terror in such circumstances? I call upon the PM to launch an operation like that of Malakand...Mr PM please wake up.”

Haji Adeel of ANP said that the Karachi airport incident reminded Mehran Airbase attack, Kamra Airbase attack and GHQ attack. “It is unable to understand where our security institutions are who are supposed to protect the people,” he said. Referring to Taftan incident, he said that people in this country are being killed because of belief and sect. Kashmiris will never choose to become part of Pakistan if such situation persists, he said showing no confidence in the government.

Abdul Rauf said that as far as foreign policy would not be reviewed, peace in the country could not be attained as terrorist incidents in the country had connections with Syria situation.

Zahid Khan of ANP also demanded Swat-like operation against the terrorists and called upon the federal government to launch a full-fledged military operation against militants in North and South Waziristan Agencies and some parts of Punjab. The militants are regrouping in the name of talks, he said.

Tahir Mashhadi questioned how the terrorists managed to bring heavy machinery inside the airport despite presence of police in the city and well-guarded airport. Senator Mushahidullah Khan of ruling PML-N called upon all the political parties to be united to fight the menace of militancy and terrorism.