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QUETTA: The leaders of the opposition in the National Assembly and Senate, Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah and Aitzaz Ahsan, have termed the Quetta suicide bombing utter failure of the interior ministry and security agencies and a result of not fully implementing the National Action Plan (NAP) approved by the political leadership at a multi-party conference.

The two PPP leaders stated this while talking to journalists on Thursday after offering condolences to lawyers in the bar room of the Balochistan High Court over the loss of lives of several advocates in the suicide attack.

Other members of the PPP delegation included Senator Rubina Khalid, Senator Sardar Fateh Mohammad Hasni, MNA Nafisa Shah, Sindh ministers Nasir Shah and Mumtaz Jakhrani, party’s former provincial president Mir Sadiq Umrani and Ali Madad Jattak.

Khurshid Shah criticised Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan for adopting a “non-serious attitude” towards the Quetta carnage and not issuing even a single statement about the tragic incident. He said parliament was discussing the attitude of the minister and failure of his ministry and security agencies.

He said NAP had failed to deliver because it was not implemented in letter and spirit, adding that such tragic incidents could not be stopped unless all 20 points of the plan were enforced.

Mr Shah said the interior minister had not visited Quetta after the tragic incident because he knew that he could not face tough questions from people. He said the opposition had offered its unconditional cooperation to the government after the Quetta blast, but the latter had taken no serious step to prevent such attacks in future. He said parliament could debate the incident and make recommendations. Mr Shah said a weak government could not strengthen institutions, leaving common people vulnerable. Weakening of institutions and the state would be a serious matter, he added.

He was of the opinion that effective implementation of NAP would ensure a better security atmosphere in the country. He urged the government to focus on protecting the life and property of people instead of just issuing statements.

Aitzaz Ahsan said NAP was evolved with the consensus of all political parties. “We all agreed on 20 points [of NAP] and wanted implementation of each and every point,” he said.

“One can imagine the weakness of our intelligence agencies that after the deadly at­­ta­ck on Quetta’s Civil Hospital, today again there was an explosion,” he added.

He said NAP was meant to eliminate all training camps of terrorists through comprehensive coordination among all intelligence agencies. He said the interior ministry had failed to implement NAP and activate the National Counter-Terrorism Authority.

Mr Ahsan said the PPP delegation had suggested formation of a trust to bear the expenses of treatment of the injured lawyers and education of children of the slain lawyers.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2016