ISLAMABAD: As senators from both sides of the aisle on Friday sounded alarm over surge in terrorist activities by the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a PPP senator sought a briefing over a recent threat alert issued by the interior ministry about heightened risk of terrorist attacks by the banned outfit.
PPP Senator Raza Rabbani, on a point of public concern, asked Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to direct the interior minister to take parliament and the public at large into confidence about the present status of peace talks with the TTP.
The interior ministry had recently issued an alert over increasing threat of terrorist attacks by the group or its factions after talks with the TTP broke down.
Mr Rabbani pointed out that a call had been made to take parliament on board when the disclosure about dialogue with the TTP was made for the first time. He, however, regretted that the demand about a matter linked with the future of coming generations fell on deaf ears. He said nobody knew about the conditions of the ceasefire with the group and the status of talks.
Rabbani seeks briefing on recent threat alert issued by interior ministry; opposition lawmakers walk out of house over Fawad’s ‘racist’ remarks
“It is the right of the people to know under what conditions dialogue with the group was held and on which point it ended and what threats the country is facing that the ministry is forced to use the alert,” he said.
He said increasing terrorist activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the erstwhile Fata were claiming the lives of army personnel and other law enforcement agencies for the last couple of months.
He said that politicians were being victimised in these attacks and terrorism cases were being registered against peaceful people when they take to the streets in Swat to protest against terrorist activities. “Today, the state itself is saying that terrorism is increasing,” he deplored.
Earlier, during the question hour, Senators Seemee Ezdi and Azam Swati expressed concern over the increase in terrorist attacks and said terrorists had reached Swat. Senator Swati called for in-camera briefing to the house on the issue.
State Minister for Law Shahadat Hussain conceded that terror activities had witnessed a sharp increase, but members of security forces were geared up to curb the menace and they were laying down their lives for the purpose.
Some opposition lawmakers, mostly from KP led by Senator Manzoor Ahmed Kakar, staged a walkout from the house over the racist remarks of PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry against Pakhtuns that were recently aired by a private TV channel.
The lawmakers asked the former minister to tender an apology and withdraw his remarks. PTI Senator Ijaz Chaudhry rose to explain that Mr Fawad was not a member of this house and claimed that what he said was just on a lighter note, though he should have avoided this.
“Through his indecent remarks, Mr Fawad has insulted the entire Pakhtun community and despite many belonging to PTI, none from the party condemned it. We also have words to speak but our values don’t allow us,” asserted Senator Manzoor Kakar.
Senators Tahir Bizenjo and Shafiq Tareen demanded of the NA speaker to issue a production order for MNA Ali Wazir, who was not produced in the house on Thursday and Friday.
Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2022