ISLAMABAD: In an unprecedented move, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani took up with Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif on Monday the alleged humiliation of a lawmaker by some military personnel.

Amidst desk-thumping, Mr Rabbani informed the members that being custodian of the house, he had talked to the army chief by telephone and asked him to look into the “incident” in which Sena­tor Nauman Wazir of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and his staff were allegedly humiliated by the security personnel at a checkpost in Nowshera on Saturday.

Know more: Rabbani says institutions subordinate to parliament

On the opening day of its new winter session, the Senate passed five resolutions, including the one expressing solidarity with family members of the martyrs of the Army Public School (APS) in Peshawar and calling upon the government to continue its operation against terrorists.

Mr Rabbani said the army chief was “shocked and expressed his dismay” after learning about the incident which was not in his knowledge before to his telephone call. “The army chief assured me that he will hold an inquiry and share its results with me. I will inform the house about the army chief’s reply,” Mr Rabbani told Senators.

Senate adopts two anti-terror resolutions

The Senate chairman said he had himself contacted Nauman Wazir, who is the parliamentary leader of the PTI, after reading the report in a newspaper and decided to approach the army chief after hearing the senator’s version.

After the chairman’s remarks, Mr Wazir said that he did not want to press his privilege motion and would like to wait for the army chief’s response.

According to Mr Wazir, who is also the vice chairman of the Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority, the incident took place at a check-post when he was on a visit to Nowshera for inspection of some institutions with his private secretary and the Technical University’s finance director.

Besides carrying out body search of the senator and his staff members, the security personnel allegedly made them to sit on the ground and also slapped and kicked them.

RESOLUTIONS: Earlier, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution “re-affirming solidarity with the families of martyrs of APS Peshawar and calling upon the government to continue operation against terrorists. The resolution had been moved by Sehar Kamran of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Through another resolution moved by PPP’s Farhatullah Babar, the house called upon the government “to ensure strict implementation of the law disallowing resurrection of banned outfits under other names”.

After passage of the resolutions, Opposition Leader Aitzaz Ahsan asked the government to brief the house about the progress on the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP), which was announced by the interior minister one year ago after the attack on the APS in Peshawar.

He said the house should be apprised of the steps so far taken by the government to implement NAP and also about the steps which the government had not been able to take.

The Senate chairman directed the leader of the house to ask the interior minister to give a briefing to the Senate on NAP’s implementation.

The Senate also passed a resolution moved by Hafiz Hamdullah of the JUI-F urging the government to provide gas to areas in the vicinity of gas fields on priority in pursuance of Article 158 of the Constitution.

The members of the upper house, through a resolution moved by PPP’s Osman Saifullah, recommended to the government “to provide all basic facilities to the residents of Katchi Abadis in Islamabad to enable them to live a healthy life with dignity and respect”.

The fifth resolution was about correction in the Urdu spelling of the name Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It was jointly moved by Sardar Azam Musakhel and Usman Kakar of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).

Earlier, winding up a debate, the federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, refuted the allegations of opposition members regarding corruption in the award of LNG import contract and said that he was ready to resign, if any charge was proved against him.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2015



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