ISLAMABAD: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has described the ongoing operation in Karachi as a failure and alleged that incidents of target killings, kidnappings and bank robberies in the city have increased in the recent past.
“Everyone knows how successful the operation is. Target killings and kidnappings for ransom are still taking place in the city. There has been an increase in the number of bank robberies,” MQM’s Parliamentary Leader Tahir Hussain Mashhadi said while speaking on a point of order in the Senate on Monday.
Other opposition parties continued their boycott of the Senate session for the third consecutive day in protest against what they called misconduct of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan during the Oct 30 proceedings.
Although the opposition has submitted a privilege motion against the minister, it wants him to come to the house and withdraw a reply in which he had allegedly provided incorrect information about the number of people killed in terrorism-related incidents in the country.
At the outset, the main opposition PPP tried to disrupt the proceedings by sending Senator Mukhtiar Ahmed Dhamra to the house to point out lack of quorum, but the acting chairman declared the house in order after counting.
The MQM senator alleged that innocent people were being picked up from different areas of Karachi and most of them were later released, apparently after greasing some palms.
Mr Mashhadi accused law-enforcement personnel of torturing suspects in custody and said this was not allowed under local as well as international laws. He said there were incidents of custodial deaths and eight people had gone missing in the city.
He claimed that the operation had been launched at the request of his party. He demanded formation of a monitoring committee promised by the interior minister and the prime minister at the time of launching the operation to ensure that it did not target any political party or a particular ethnic group.
Meanwhile, the Senate unanimously adopted a resolution asking the federal government to take effective steps to eradicate child labour. It was tabled by Mr Mashhadi.
Senate Chairman Nayyar Bokhari announced the formation of a special house committee to look into the issue of non-payment of compensation to the decree-holders of thousands of acres of land acquired by the military in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the mid-70s. The ruling came after the house took up a reply of the defence ministry to a motion moved by PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar in August.
Earlier, the ministry had taken the position that the matter was sub judice, but it was challenged by Mr Babar who insisted that no stay had been granted against the Peshawar High Court order in favour of the landowners and that the Supreme Court also rejected the ministry’s appeal being time barred. He had also alleged that the military had grown orchards in large tracts of the land initially acquired for training purposes.
On Monday, the defence ministry submitted a report which said the GHQ had referred the case of payment of over Rs1.5 billion to the affected persons to the finance ministry which advised the defence ministry to submit a summary to the cabinet. However, no summary was submitted to the cabinet as the defence ministry was seeking to link it with other similar cases, besides filing a review petition in the SC.
But the chairman gave the ruling to form the committee to look into the matter and submit its recommendations.