Govt assailed over missing persons

ISLAMABAD - The legislators in the National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution on the missing persons issue and authorised the speaker to constitute a committee to monitor the progress made in these cases.
Speaking on the occasion, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan congratulated the lawmakers for the unanimous passage of the resolution but said the house could have taken the position soon after taking the oath.
But he blasted Interior Minister Rehman Malik when he claimed that the number of missing persons was 6,000 when the PPP came into power and the government had formed two inquiry commissions to probe into the matter. He added that he would soon present the detailed reports on the missing persons in the house. However, Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi asked him not to give any details to the house and present it before the committee, which would soon be formed.
Expressing his views, Nisar urged the chair to ‘protect’ the resolution from the interior minister. He said Malik had done nothing but playing with numbers. “I do not know whether his family listen to him or not but we do not want to listen him. Wherever he will interfere, the opposition will not go there; however, the committee may call him if it feels it is necessary,” he remarked.
Urging the government to focus and ensure the implementation of the resolution’s operative part, Nisar said the resolution was not aimed point scoring or witch hunting, as he demanded initiating legal proceedings against the culprits and assured that the politicians would not create hurdle in the process.
The resolution moved by PML-N legislator Zahid Hamid states: “This house is deeply disturbed over the plight of the families of persons who have been missing for long periods without any intimation as to their whereabouts and who remain untraced to date.”
It expressed concern over grave allegations of acts and omissions, complicity and concealment are being raised against state agencies which were tarnishing their image and reputation at home and abroad, notwithstanding their immense contribution and tremendous sacrifices in the defence and security of Pakistan.
The resolution also demanded implementation of the recommendations of the inquiry concerning the murder of renowned journalist Syed Saleem Shehzad for a comprehensive framework law to regulate the role and functioning of the intelligence and security agencies.
It authorised the speaker to constitute, in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, an eight-member committee with equal representation from both sides of the house, to monitor progress on the issue.
Meanwhile, ANP and MQM staged walkout against the Mirpur Mathelo incident and kidnapping of Hindu community members from Sindh.
MNA Manohar Lal, speaking on the point of order, said the Hindus were being kidnapped from Sindh and forcefully being converted to Islam. Pointing to the incident of Rinkle Kumari, he said she was kidnapped from her residence and police was not ready to register a FIR, as a PPP MNA was creating hurdles. He said Rinkle Kumari did not embrace Islam and she was forced to do so. He further said the minorities were facing problems in Pakistan.
However, Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah said the case was in the court and the government could not do anything now, adding that the security of the minorities was the prime responsibility of the state.
Samsam Bukhari and Haidar Abbas Rizvi highlighted the issue of the reconstruction of Bari Imam and said the CDA was given an amount of Rs 150 million but it did nothing. They urged the chair to investigate the issue.
Earlier, newly elected MNAs including Ali Musa Gilani, Syed Mustafa, Natasha Doultana and others took oath. Addressing the House, Musa Gilani said the people of his constituency had sent him to the house for establishing a Saraiki province.
Responding to a calling attention notice on stopping women to cast votes during the recent by-elections, the minister for law and justice told the house that the government was going to make legislation on the issue which would bound the candidates to ensure the casting of women’s votes.
The house also passed the Industrial Relation Act 2012. Khursheed Shah on the occasion congratulated the members and labourers of the country for removing the black law made against the working class.
Law minister also presented the report on the 2nd Biannual Monitoring on the Implementation of NFC Award (January-June 2011).

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