PESHAWAR: The opposition parties in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday demanded inquiry into the killing of a terrorist, who was allegedly disarmed and locked up in a room by a student during the Friday’s attack on the Agriculture Training Institute, Peshawar.

The Jamaat-i-Islami, a coalition partner of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in the province, also endorsed the demand.

Speaking on a point of order in the house, Pakistan People’s Party member Nighat Orakzai said a student had disarmed one of the attackers and locked him up in a room.

“The police instead of arresting the attacker opened fire at the attacker and killed him in the dormitory,” she said while quoting the student as saying.

The lawmaker said the student, who was under treatment, explained the incident when a group of terrorists stormed the institute.

Minister tells assembly that PPP lawmaker’s information hearsay

She said the police had spoiled evidence by killing the attacker and that the arrest of the terrorist would have provided intelligence agencies with clues to reach handlers, planners and masterminds of the attack on the institute.

The attack had left nine people, including eight students, dead and 28 injured.

The police said three attackers were killed in the security forces’ operation.

Law and parliamentary affairs minister Imtiaz Shahid said the information of the MPA was based on hearsay as he had gone through the police’s report about the attack.

The minister seemed unaware about the attack despite having the police’s report as he said the terrorists had attacked the university.

“According to the police, four or five terrorists were killed in the counterattack on the Agriculture University. There is no truth in the report that the police had killed one attacker, who was disarmed and locked up in the room,” he added.

The minister praised the law-enforcement agencies for averting massacre through their timely response to the attack.

Senior minister Inayatullah Khan, who belongs to the Jamaat-i-Islami, proposed inquiry into the reports about the killing of the ‘disarmed’ attacker.

“There should be an inquiry into the claims of the student,” he said.

The minister supported the opposition’s demand for in-camera briefing for parliamentary leaders about the resurgence of militancy in the province.

He said the police’s chief should brief leaders of political parties about the current surge in attacks.

“(Poet and critic) TS Eliot said April is the cruelest month but I say December is the cruelest month for Peshawar,” he said while referring to the terrorist attack on the Army Public School Peshawar and other brutal incidents occurred in the region in December.

MPAs Syed Jaffar Shah, Sardar Hussain Babak, Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha, Sikandar Sherpao Mufti Syed Jana and Fakhar Azam of the opposition and Izazul Mulk Afkari of the Jamaat-i-Islami also demanded inquiry into the killing of a ‘disarmed’ attacker.

The lawmakers demanded in-camera briefing on the current situation and revisiting of the National Action Plan by the federal government.

Speaker Asad Qaisar, who was in the chair, ordered inquiry into the statement of the student about the disarming of an attacker.

He admitted an adjournment motion of the opposition to hold detailed discussion on the increase in acts of terrorism.

Also, the house adopted a unanimous resolution demanding of the federal government to ask the Saudi government to release detained Pakistanis and stop their deportation.

PPP MPA Sahibzada Sanaullah moved the resolution claiming thousands of Pakistanis had been detained in Saudi Arabia.

PTI MPA Mehmood Khan raised the issue of delay in the sugarcane crushing by mill owners in Peshawar and Mardan divisions and said the crushing season was supposed to begin on Nov 15 but the mill owners had yet to do so causing losses to farmers.

He said the sugarcane commissioner had yet to announce the new price for sugarcane.

Responding to the point, food minister Qalandar Lodhi acknowledged delay on part of the mill owners and said the sugarcane crushing process had begun in Dera Ismail Khan.

He said the government would protect the rights of farmers, while the crushing season would begin very soon.

The chaired adjourned the sitting until 3pm today (Tuesday).

Published in Dawn, December 05th, 2017