ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik insisted in the Senate on Thursday that Karachi had been hit by Talibanisation as another senior leader of the ruling PPP presented eight proposals to bring about sanity in the city.
Mr Malik could not finish his winding up speech on the prolonged debate on the law and order situation in the country, with particular reference to target killings in Karachi, because of severe cough and requested the chairman to allow him to speak again on Friday.
Mr Malik once again hinted at “foreign and local aggression” behind the incidents of target and sectarian killings in Karachi and elsewhere.
Surprisingly, senators belonging to the Awami National Party, who had declared on Wednesday that they would not listen to the interior minister and said Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf should come to the Senate to make a statement, remained present throughout the proceedings and did not even raise any objection when Mr Malik took the floor.
The minister said it was not for the first time that Karachi was in trouble, recalling that the authorities in the past had carried out all types of operations through police, Rangers and even the army, but to no use.
Mr Malik once again requested the chairman to convene an in-camera session in which he would make “disclosures” about arrests made in Karachi.
“I want to give you the exact picture as to what is happening to Pakistan,” he said, adding that there had been consistent criticism of the government by the media and the opposition for not taking steps to improve the situation in Karachi.
EIGHT PROPOSALS: Earlier, taking part as a last participant in the debate, PPP leader Raza Rabbani presented eight proposals to improve the situation in Karachi. He suggested that “those arrested for acts of terrorism or so suspected should not be released from police stations; their release orders should only come from the competent court”.
The people arrested must be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours and the provincial government must ensure that there is strict compliance with the provisions of Articles 10 and 10-A of the Constitution which give an accused the right to fair trial.
Mr Rabbani made the suggestion against the backdrop of reports from law-enforcement officials that they had to release suspects because of political pressure after receiving just one telephone call. He also called for providing the cellphone tracking facility to Sindh police, greater coordination among intelligence agencies and enhancing the role of citizen-police liaison committees. He said there should be no political considerations on appointments of police officers.
Mr Rabbani, who had last month suggested a five-point formula to resolve the Balochistan crisis, asked the Sindh government to develop a consensus on taking stringent measures against any person or group found involved in acts of terror by taking all political and religious stakeholders on board.
He said the number of CCTVs should be increased and their quality improved. The senator proposed that the Sindh government should form committees of all relevant stakeholders at the provincial assembly level and give them tasks to ensure peace in different localities of Karachi.
PML-N WALKOUT: Soon after the completion of the question hour, PML-N senators and some Baloch nationalist leaders staged a token walkout against the alleged raid by security forces on the house of Talal Bugti, son of the late Akbar Bugti. The issue was raised by PML-N’s Mushahidullah Khan through a point of order.
The Senate will meet again on Friday.