ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday passed a resolution with majority asking the government to deweaponise Karachi in view of the prevailing law and order situation in the metropolis.
The senators of Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) were caught napping when the resolution was put for voting as only Col. (Retd) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi opposed the passage of the resolution and said instead of deweaponisation of Karachi, the whole of Pakistan should be deweaponised.
However, Chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari rejected the proposal, stating that Mashhadi was not even backed by his own colleagues.
Apparently, the MQM senators were happy with the reconciliatory gesture of Senator Azam Khan Hoti of the Awami National Party (ANP) who had shacked hands with MQM leader Babar Khan Ghauri for peace in Karachi.
The resolution was moved by Senator Shahi Syed of the ANP on April 30.
Earlier, taking part in the debate, Mushahidullah Khan of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) regretted the fact that Imambargahs and Mosques were being attacked during the holy month of Muharram and the people were not being provided with adequate security.
He said that no one was Shia or Sunni among the general public and the vested interests were on to keep the people divided.
Azam Khan Hoti said that it was true that the MQM was targeted in operation clean up conducted in Karachi in year 1992 which did not resolve Karachi situation. He said that deweaponisation of Karachi was a gigantic task and it could not be achieved even in ten years.
Shacking hands with MQM's Babar Ghauri, Hoti said his party would cooperate with the MQM for peace in Karachi.
Senator Hasil Bizenjo of the National Party (NP) said that no political party could work in Karachi without having a militant wing.
He alleged that the former dictator General Ziaul Haq had distributed weapons in Karachi through Jamaat-i-Islami (JI). He said innocent people were being killed in Karachi and the situation can not improve without will and vision of the government.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed of the PML-Q said that the DG Rangers of Sindh had informed the Senate Committee on Human Rights recently that major political parties had militant wings.
He said that local body system provided a buffer for controlling law and order situation and the absence of a local body system in Karachi was a major reason of lawlessness.
The PML-Q leader said that Karachi was the future of Pakistan and we cannot allow man-made problems to threaten the future of the country. “If Azam Hoti and Babar Ghauri can have a sincere shake of hands, they can also achieve peace in Karachi”, he concluded.
Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said that licensed weapons are not used in criminal activities and only unlicensed weapons are used for this purpose.
He called for banning the display of licensed weapons while the unlicensed weapons should be confiscated.
Ahsan said there was a need for the political leadership to sit together and evolve joint strategy for dealing with the menace of militancy.
Senator Zahid Khan of the ANP also alleged that weapons were distributed across the country among people through Jamat-i-Islami by General Ziaul Haq. He said there was a need to fight the menace of extremism. He said that drone attacks were being conducted against “good Taliban” and the “bad Taliban” were not being attacked.