ISLAMABAD: Amid nationwide concern over the death of an army general in a bomb blast claimed by the Taliban, most lawmakers preferred silence on the killing when the National Assembly opened a new session on Monday.

On Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s request, the house did offer a formal Fateha for the fallen Maj Gen Sanaullah Khan Niazi as well as a lieutenant-colonel and a non-commissioned officer killed with him in Sunday’s roadside blast of an improvised explosive device in Upper Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but the government and lawmakers from both sides of aisle surprisingly avoided any mention of such an important happening except for some remarks by a member of the opposition PPP regretting the apparent apathy.

Speaker Sardar Ayaz Saqiq seemed to think that the interior minister would make a policy statement, and he said so when the minister stood up immediately after the house made an unusual start with a deputy sergeant-at-arms reciting verses from the Holy Quran instead of an official qari who was found absent on the occasion.

But the minister said he had risen not to make a policy statement but only to point out that it was the first time in his parliamentary career to see a security official rather than a qari reciting the Quranic verses to begin the house proceedings, before he requested for a prayer for the army “shuhada” (martyrs).

Chaudhry Nisar, the senior-most government functionary present in the house at the time in the absence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who had earlier left for a three-day official visit to Turkey, was seen consulting with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan who has been the most outspoken proponent of unconditional peace talks with the Taliban, and later with the government-allied Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party leader Mahmood Khan Achakzai at their desks, leading to speculation that some joint resolution on Sunday’s blast might be presented in the house.

But no such thing came out as the minister left the house sometime later as did Imran Khan without making a speech, apparently aware of a strongly-worded statement issued earlier in the day by Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani declaring that the army had “the ability and the will to take the fight to the terrorists” and would not be dictated by their “terms”.

That apparently left the house members and journalists in the press gallery wondering about the fate of peace talks offered to the Taliban in light of a series of attacks on security forces on Sunday, of which the one in Upper Dir near the Afghan border became the most devastating.

With Leader of Opposition Khurshid Ahmed Shah of the PPP being absent because of a private visit to London, the party’s parliamentary leader, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, too preferred silence.

However, Nafisa Shah, a PPP lawmaker from Sindh, condemned what she called “most worrisome” attack on the general’s convoy and wondered why some parties known for making a hue and cry about American drone attacks on suspected militant hideouts in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas “would not condemn the martyrdom of a major general or a lieutenant general in the same manner”.

Speaking in a resumed debate on former president Asif Ali Zardari’s address to a joint sitting of parliament on June 10, she said the unconditional offer of talks with the Taliban as envisioned in a resolution adopted by a Sept 9 all-party conference convened by the prime minister, was not the PPP policy but that the party “went along” with it out of respect for the mandate won by the PML-N in the May 11 elections.

Earlier, the opposition Muttahida Qaumi Movement staged a token walkout in protest against what one of its members, Asif Hasnain, called direction of an anti-crime crackdown in Karachi against his party and an “attempt to impose the mandate of rural areas (of Sindh) over the mandate of urban areas”.

But the argument was rejected by PPP’s Ms Shah who advised the MQM to cooperate with the crackdown as the main party in Karachi in line with a decision taken by a special cabinet meeting held by the prime minister in the city earlier this month with the MQM represented by its provincial governor.

However, the debate on the presidential address, which has become the first of its kind in Pakistan’s parliamentary history being continued after the departure of the president who had made the speech, was cut short when the house was found lacking quorum, forcing Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi to adjourn it until 10.30am on Tuesday.

A meeting of the house business advisory committee held before the start of the sitting decided, according to an assembly press release, to continue the session until Sept 27 instead of the previous tentatively scheduled date of Oct 1.

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Comments (57)

Karachi Wala
September 17, 2013 7:42 am

Shame on PML-N, shame on PTI .

September 17, 2013 8:26 am

Unless and until Pakistanis themselves set their house in order - nothing will come forward and they will continue in the state of stagnation. TTP is a band of criminals and approaching them for talks is criminal act. Why PML(N) is soft and the so called Khan is issuing nonsense statements - Don't you feel the pain of loosing able military men???

September 17, 2013 8:38 am

What can one expect from these cowardly sheep of politicians? Since they are so hopelessly gutless and cowardly, they deserve the Taliban to rule over them and beat them for wearing their beards too short or for sending their women out to get educated.

I guess this is all part of the evolution. If this gutless nation and its security apparatus decide to let the TTP run them over, then so be it. Just be ready for living a wonderful life under the Taliban. Ask the Afghans, I am sure they were loving it.

When a nation cannot even recognize its heroes, then all is lost. What is visiting Pakistan in the form of this TTP fitna is Allah's reckoning upon our hapless and shameless nation because it has chosen to not take ownership of its destiny. We'd rather blame the Americans, the Zionists for all our problems when the fact is that our very own extremists are wreaking havoc amongst us and we cannot even sort them out.

KN Shaikh
September 17, 2013 10:13 am

We have started missing PPP already as the were at least condemning these attacks. PTI and PML N really need to get their act together and should condemn these attacks in the strongest words possible.

Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani correctly presented pubic point of view in declaring that the army had “the ability and the will to take the fight to the terrorists” and would not be dictated by their “terms”

Ravi Ingale from Pune
September 17, 2013 10:18 am

This picture is of Parliament ?? or high society's marriage is going there?? How big is the hall what the way they are decorated them. India's parliament building is so tiny in front of this building. But decisions are so big that they can vibrate whole subcontinental.

Nahas Basir
September 17, 2013 10:27 am

What a pathetic, cowardly and shameless lot!

September 17, 2013 10:36 am

what a shame.

why did the author of this article mentioned them as killed instead of martyrs? isn't it a dichotomy that the LEAs personnel are never mentioned as martyrs in almost all the dailies and online papers? can anybody answer that?

September 17, 2013 10:40 am

The members of the national assembly are just now in denial mode as the govt's impending talk with Taliban. So at this juncture it is unwise either to criticize Taliban for the killing.

PPP on the other hand was always against talking with Taleban even they were in power.

So the actions of members of national assembly or legislative assemblies other than Sindh they will appear to be mum. Thanks

September 17, 2013 11:39 am

Politicians have bowed to Terrorism.

Umair Khalid
September 17, 2013 12:54 pm

look at the lights in the national assembly. can you tell that this is from a country where the common man has no electricity in his house? Pathetic politicians and pathetic use of tax and loan money!

September 17, 2013 12:59 pm

This is not a surprise. Everything PML-N and PTI have said proves their links with TTP. Their silence speaks volumes. Shame on them. They are all the same. They are not even allowed to speak about the dead citizens of Pakistan who were killed by these so called jihadis. I am ashamed to be a Pakistani.

September 17, 2013 1:54 pm

@Ravi Ingale from Pune: Sadly have to agree with you though I'm not sure how vibrtory are the decisions from indian parliament for the sub continent. yes we specialise in marraiges of convenience here and occasionally an inconveniant one or two.

September 17, 2013 2:03 pm

OH..Too much of work NA...we are tired mommi! can we start 'nothing to do' work tomorrow ..pleeeease

September 17, 2013 2:08 pm

These are the elected representatives of the people? Spineless cowards can't even utter a few words of codemnation!

September 17, 2013 2:17 pm

USA wants to impose its war now on pakistan after withdrawing from Afghanistan. Beware. The so called Islamic Taliban are nothing but mafia with plenty of funding from Pakistan's enemies.

September 17, 2013 2:39 pm

@Ravi Ingale from Pune: Your parliament is small because you inherited a pre-independence building from the occupiers of this land. Islamabad is a modern and planned new city. we made it from scratch. Please visit Islamabad and see the entire city. You would be amazed.

September 17, 2013 2:41 pm

Don't forget that this is not the first time such terrorist activities reach its heights whenever there is a talk of peace. We have seen it 5 years ago when the then KP Government singed peace agreement with the extremists. The peace process was immediately derailed by increasing such activities by those who do not want this country remain at peace. Please think with your heads, not with the barrels of guns.

Akhter Husain
September 17, 2013 3:22 pm

Politicians are a different breed.unlike statesmen,they always confuse people as they themselves remain confused in decision making.The solution to the menace of terrorism lies in taking war to their doorstep,as any soldier will tell you.All what is needed is the courage and determination to fight and eliminate it with wisdom and clarity of mind.Time in such matters are always very important and it should not be ignored.

Husain Bulman
September 17, 2013 3:46 pm

I guess Musharraf 's rule was probably better than this so-called democracy, the militants did not even dare to attack the jawans at that time ........

September 17, 2013 3:49 pm

@Prometheus: And yet 65% population is satisfied with the policies of new government at the end of 100 days rule

M. Siddique
September 17, 2013 4:09 pm

The subject under discussion is why the Parliamentarians did not say anything about TTP attack on army general. And here we have self centered MQM, instead of the talking on subject at hand started walk out on law enforecement crackdown in Karachi. Well, one should should point out that they are responsible for the lawlessness in the city at the first place. It is time for them to face the music.

SAF Razavi
September 17, 2013 4:54 pm

what to say except "a set of selfish thankless crooks have handed over the left over to the fresh set of crooks to loot & plunder" & the valiant are laying their lives so they the thugs & crooks & dacoits may continue with their evil hobby/game of loot & plunder

September 17, 2013 5:09 pm

As someone commented, what a grand building and how little is achieved in it. What has this government changed in the last 100 days for the average citizen of Pakistan?.

Dr. Kausar Talat
September 17, 2013 6:16 pm

Very sad! Nations who forget to remember or appreciate the lives laid down by their protectors normally vanish from the face of the earth.

Dr. Kausar

September 17, 2013 7:02 pm


September 17, 2013 7:43 pm

@KN Shaikh: Shaikh saab Language please.Pl be careful while typing about such sensitive issue

September 17, 2013 8:50 pm

Shameless and spineless elected members . What do you expect from them.

September 17, 2013 9:07 pm

General and others died while earning bread for their families. Please think about defence budget of an underdeveloped country when you read about a five year old girl raped outside city’s major hospital.

Abdul Shakoor Amjad
September 17, 2013 9:15 pm

We lost a brave soldier yesterday, a general. His life was precious like many others that we have lost. Should this have an impact on the direction that all parties conference has set, hell, NO!

This war on terror is NOT ours. As the history goes, Afghan war, funded by the Americans, left warriors on our soil, who had only seen war and had lost touch with civilization. We could not see our responsibility of handling those people once the war was over. American invasion of Afghanistan was an opportunity for them to get back to their old ways. On the decision of a General, Pakistan became ally to a power across the globe, against a next door neighbor; it is difficult to fathom the stupidity of the General and ugliness of this decision.

We mismanaged things again and did not stop these Afghan war veterans from waging a war from our soil that government had not sanctioned. We let the things be and they got out of control. Americans were bothered by these people, they asked us to control them and we could not; with the help of Karzai, the rented Afghan, they arranged to sort us out. They planted bombs in our cities and arranged suicide bombings and blamed the people in our tribal areas.

In this mayhem and lack of governance, there was an opportunity for criminals to make money and Rent-a-suicide-bomber culture set in. American used this this as needed; so did Indians, whenever they wanted to make a point; Pakistan suffered.

Since then things have changed and many players have become party to it. It would be our failure if we do not use discretion and treat every one the same. Although we claim to have made many peace agreements in the past, in effect we always sabotaged it. We never really manged things with responsibility.

Sending the army has been a failure of governance. It was expected as Government people were too busy making money, they could not be bothered to govern. They let the military do their job for them. It is like letting a blacksmith work on your jewelry.

We should recognize role of our lack of governance. There are people who need to be sorted out but handing over an area to the army is like making enemies from innocent people. A soldier, army's execution arm does not know how to deal with innocent people. He is simply not trained to do so.

A targeted operation if necessary and dialog is our only practical option. Let us call our soldiers back and not try and dismember our country of whatever is left.

naeem khan
September 17, 2013 9:51 pm

so our liberals are encouraging army to create an Egypt like situation well done DAWN!

September 17, 2013 10:12 pm

Civilized world would dim the lights and lower the flag when a top commander goes down! No condemnation from PML and PTI?? What a Shame! Forget peace talks with terrorists and for God's sake forget an ex-president's speech and everything else - Get your pririties in order!

AB Uzair
September 17, 2013 10:17 pm

If a General and Colonel were killed via firing across LoC (even accidentally), all hell would have broken loose. This was a 'targeted' assassination and our MNAs were virtually silent. Not that their empty words would have made any difference, but still that is why they are elected; to give lofty speeches and make empty promises..

September 17, 2013 11:16 pm

These politicians will keep on playing trivia games. After losing 40,000 civilians & army personnel to taliban terrorism, I think Gen. Kayani is right when he said army will not be dictated terms by talibans. First of all where is taliban central command ? They are splinter groups, most of them making money by collecting ransom.It is not the war of territory, it is the war to establish government writ in tribal area. In the long run, it is the army that would be deciding the outcome of so called peace talk with TTP.

September 18, 2013 12:27 am

@Khalid: I thin ku r right... it was already confirmed in PP Govt that Nawaz has links with TTP. Now, in KPK, because of Jamat-i-islami, PTI has now links with TTP. These coward and selfish parlimentarians could not even say against those who did this... what a shame. :(

September 18, 2013 1:10 am

Looking at the lavish Parliamentary Hall, an outsider will have no idea country is in the grip of darkness for 22 hours a day. Then, you wonder how come the politicians are not aware of the problems faced by common person. Why should they? Cut their damn lights off.

September 18, 2013 1:08 am

@Ravi Ingale from Pune: As a Pakistani, I shamefully agree with you.

oriental philosopher
September 18, 2013 1:35 am

@Nadir: pakistan made all its enemies by itself and within they are within its boundary.

if principle, goal, ideal which are like builkding blocks of a country are not proper.. then that building or nations' future is diificult and bleak!

Remedy : make pakisatn's constitution,govt and society pluralistic, democratic and liberal.

September 18, 2013 3:39 am

Chickens are coming home to roost

Zobia Khan
September 18, 2013 6:40 am

The honeymoon is truly over. 100 days of inaction by both PTI and PML. Shame on them. They cannot even pass a non-binding resolution to condole the death of the General.

Anytime you offer to negotiate with terrorists they are winners. They gain in stature. PML is afraid of the TTP and so is PTI.

Altaf A Ibrahim
September 18, 2013 7:33 am

What a pathetic lot! These elected representatives. They do not have the moral fiber or the courage to utter a few words of condolence, for those who have laid down there lives for the country. May God protect Pakistan from these morons.

vijay chennai
September 18, 2013 9:54 am

The way the killings are happening, members of the Pak parliament have to recite the quran everyday for the martyrs. BTW, will these MPs recite quran in the parliament when common people are killed?

September 18, 2013 10:18 am

@Nadir: USA imposed it's war on Pakistan in 1980s to drive USSR out of Afghanistan. Nobody complained then because there was financial and military aid tied to the war. US was considered best friend then. Pakistanis were happy with Jihad. 30 years later the affects of the Jihad have turned against Pakistan so now everyone is calling it a US imposed war. I call it a self-imposed war.

N K Ali
September 18, 2013 12:20 pm

@Nadir: The time to pass resolutions in favor of the national interest has long passed. It is abundantly clear that our General Sanaullah embraced Shahadat for an ungrateful nation. Allah Ta'ala loves him more. This has always been our war and we are in a region that is contiguous with our geography. Why are we meddling and why we should not meddle in the region is another point in case. However, the war is ours and that has been sufficiently demonstrated by the TTP. The war was acquired by USA because it wanted a reason to deplete its enormous reserves of weaponry. Another reason is that the USA wanted to exert its humiliating influence on the region and remain there for some years. Later on it discovered OBL and its mission became accomplished demeaning Pakistan, indirectly. It is obvious the USA will not colonize or make Afghanistan its 51st state and is on the threshold of making a retreat with a handful of troops remaining to keep an eye on developments. Salams

September 18, 2013 1:09 pm

@Zia: Everybody feels the pain when a general or a poor civilian falls. But mind you that such attacks increase only when there is a talk of peace. Why? We need to think with our head not with the barrels of the guns.

September 18, 2013 1:14 pm

@Yousaf: They haven't bowed to terrorists but have started the peace process which the lone super power of the world has started much earlier. There is no shame of talking peace. Politicians are the only ones who are trying to cleanse the mess created by the so called defenders of our motherland.

September 18, 2013 2:10 pm

@Husain Bulman: Every time there is a talk of starting the peace process such attacks increase which shows as if the enemy does not want peace in our country. If we stop the peace process would mean we are serving the enemy's cause.

September 18, 2013 2:14 pm

@SAF Razavi: It is the same mess created during the marshal law period of government which prevailed in the country for more than half of this country's age. Now let the politicians clean the mess and bring peace to our motherland. The valiant always talk with guns and think with the barrels.

September 18, 2013 2:16 pm

I wonder why we do not have the same level of reaction when a poor civilian is killed some times by the terrorists, sometimes by drones and some times by our own valiant jawans (as collateral damage).

September 18, 2013 2:23 pm

Let the collective wisdom of the nation decide the fate of this great nation by involving all the stakeholders in the peace process. The lone super power of the world could not deal with these extremists with their guns and now the super power want to start the peace process so why we cannot do it. Lets clean the mess created earlier through our guns and tanks.

September 18, 2013 2:28 pm

@Akhter Husain: It appears that mostly the soldiers are posting comments here because I can see everybody is talking of guns, bombs and killings. I wonder if the solders have so much time to change the public opinion in favour of bombs and killings. Let the nation and not the tanks decide about this nation's fate.

September 18, 2013 3:38 pm

@KASHIF: Grand interior beats the taj mahal. Who needs to work. American taxpayers can foot the bills or we ll scare them by boogey man taliban tactics.

September 18, 2013 3:47 pm

Its not surprising at all ! We got what we voted for, a bunch of qualified boons, good enough to plunder national wealth only. I salute COAS General Kayani for giving such a bold statement against the terrorists.

shahzad khaliq
September 18, 2013 3:52 pm

No Problem......We have many many many generals left in the army

P.S. May his soul depart in peace

September 18, 2013 7:18 pm

we want Musharaf back to lead the country.

As Much a Patriot as You!
September 18, 2013 7:39 pm

@Sher: Sir, just a reminder the "so call defenders" have the guts to put their lives on the line for this country and us countrymen. I am sure you are more patriotic and loyal then me but do not question the sacrifices of our soldiers........have some dignity and respect for the Shaheed!
September 18, 2013 10:58 pm

I salut My portectors the Armed forces - those who have given their lives. After GOD They are the reasons Pakistan still exist.

SALAM My Jawans. These politicians need to wake up and take this fight to them. I beg the pakistanis to support our Army.

dr azhar mukhtar
September 19, 2013 9:37 am

its better to look see and than decided,in my opinion let dialogue be given a final chance,but its seems certan that this dialogue would be final if the taliban missed this opportunity ,this nation ll stand united against themes

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