NA agrees to form fact-finding committee on attacks against minorities

Published August 6, 2014
National Assembly's Deputy Speaker, Murtaza Abbasi, asked Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid and PPP MNA Nawab Yousuf Talpur to discuss the terms of reference (TORs) and the names of the member to finalise the committee e to probe the incidents of violence against minorities across the country.  — File photo
National Assembly's Deputy Speaker, Murtaza Abbasi, asked Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid and PPP MNA Nawab Yousuf Talpur to discuss the terms of reference (TORs) and the names of the member to finalise the committee e to probe the incidents of violence against minorities across the country. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The members of the opposition and the treasury benches in the National Assembly on Wednesday agreed to constitute a fact-finding committee to probe the incidents of violence against religious minorities across the country.

Commenting on a point of order, parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the Lower House, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said it was unfortunate that the kidnapping and killings of businessmen from the Hindu community continues in Sindh province.

Qureshi said unknown attackers killed two men related to PTI Member of National Assembly Lal Chand in Sindh's Umerkot district.

The PTI leader said under prevailing circumstances, members of the Hindu community were feeling compelled to migrate from rural Sindh.

He said the government should acknowledge the violence being suffered by members of religious minority communities and should provide them protection as a matter of priority.

Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said it was the responsibility of both the federal and the provincial governments to provide security to minorities and both should work together in resolving the issues of minorities.

“It is shameful that the sufferings of minorities are increasing day by.... these incidents create a bad image of Pakistan in the world,” the minister said.

He said the government will discuss the issues of minority communities with provincial governments.

Asif said a committee of MNAs should be constituted to probe the circumstances behind such incidents to resolve the matter in a lasting manner.

PTI MNA Lal Chand alleged that the incidents of targeted killings, kidnappings and forced marriages of Hindu girls were continuing in Sindh and the government had failed to protect the rights of religious minorities.

He demanded that the government take serious steps to counter such violence against religious minorities.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Ayaz Somroo said that the government should initiate an impartial inquiry to ascertain the facts behind the incidents of kidnappings and killings of members of Sindh's Hindu community.

PPP MNA Nawab Yousuf Talpur said it was difficult to understand why the minorities were under attack across the country, especially in Sindh province.

He said the National Assembly Speaker should set up a committee to probe the incidents of violence against minorities.

“It is necessary that the Speaker of the National Assembly set up a committee to visit the areas in question to determine the facts surrounding incidents of violence,” he added.

Talpur also presented a motion to set up a fact-finding committee in this regard.

Later, National Assembly's Deputy Speaker Murtaza Abbasi asked Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid and PPP MNA Nawab Yousuf Talpur to discuss the terms of reference (TORs) and the names of the members to finalise the committee in this regard.

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