ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Friday sought a report from the interior ministry on the action taken so far against terrorists and banned outfits involved in Hazara killings.
The Senate Standing Committee on Interior met with Senator Rehman Malik in the chair, where members voiced serious concern over the Quetta blast and continued killings of members of the Hazara community.
It was decided that the next meeting would be held in Quetta, specifically on the agenda of the Hazara killings.
The interior ministry was directed to submit a comprehensive report on the Quetta blast and also apprise the committee of the action so far taken against the terrorists and banned outfits involved in Hazara killings. The panel also sought a report about the release of activists of banned outfits in the near past in Balochistan.
Senator Malik said the involvement of the hostile neighbour and other external forces in terrorist activities in Balochistan could not be ruled out as such blasts appeared to be a conspiracy to incite sectarian clashes and destabilise Pakistan.
He said that the Shia Hazara community of Balochistan had been targeted for a long time and it was time to bring an end to their killings by taking fierce action against terrorists and banned outfits. He said that he had already called a special meeting for briefing on implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP). However, at the request of the interior ministry, some more time was given to them for the briefing.
Interior ministry was also asked for comprehensive report on the Quetta blast
The meeting was attended among others by Senators Azam Khan Swati, Dr Shahzad Wasim, Kalsoom Parveen, Mohammad Javed Abbasi, Asad Ali Khan Junejo, Kauda Babar and Sardar Shafique Tareen.
The additional interior secretary, chairman and DG of Nadra, Sindh police DIG, DPO of Haripur and senior officials from the law and justice ministry also attended the meeting.
Members of the committee, while strongly condemning the Quetta blast, urged the interior ministry to implement NAP in letter and spirit. Senator Sardar Shafiq Tareen said that it was not for the first time that the Hazara community had been targeted, but noted that they were under continuous attacks by the terrorists. “It is shocking that the people of the Hazara community are being escorted by police and FC to the markets and other place. Till when it will go like this,” he asked.
Nadra offices overseas
The committee also considered and discussed in detail the matter of opening Nadra offices in Mali, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. Senator Rehman Malik directed the interior ministry to order opening of Nadra offices in these countries so that overseas Pakistanis could be facilitated to the maximum. He said that he had received dozens of complaints from Pakistanis residing in Mali, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique that they were facing unavoidable problems in getting CNIC and registering their children. He said Pakistanis living there had to travel to other adjacent countries for getting their documents.
The Nadra chairman briefed the committee on the feasibility of opening the offices in these countries.
The committee chairman ordered deputing an employee each in embassies to facilitate Pakistani nationals there.
The Nadra chairman assured the committee that the online system would be made easier so that applicants could apply online.
The committee sought opening of more Nadra and passport offices in Balochistan.
It also considered the issue of death of five persons — including four children and their mother hailing from Balochistan — in Qasr-i-Naz, Karachi. The Sindh police DIG briefed the committee on the incident and said that initially along with the Sindh Food Authority the death was investigated for food poisoning and all the related persons were taken into custody. He stated that so far nine people had been taken into custody and the police were investigating the matter further.
Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2019