ISLAMABAD: Despite resistance from ruling coalition members and the main opposition party, the National Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution calling for steps to deweaponise the entire country.
The resolution, tabled in the NA by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Farooq Sattar, was opposed by the Awami National Party (ANP), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N).
Sattar said that criminals and terrorists have disrupted peace in Pakistan, thus must be taken to deweaponise the entire country.
The Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Minister for Religious Affairs, Khursheed Shah also spoke in favour of the resolution, urging deweaponisation of the entire country instead of just Karachi to take a grip on the country’s security situation.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, however, criticised MQM’s "deceptive" resolution, saying that law enforcement authorities had failed in providing security to the people and that the common man needs weapons to ensure his own safety.
Tuesday’s motion comes follows a similar ANP-backed resolution adopted by the Senate on Monday recommending to the government to take “effective steps” to ‘deweaponise’ Karachi.
The MQM had opposed the Senate resolution, tabled by ANP Senator Shahi Syed, saying the entire country should be cleared of weapons instead of just Karachi. Otherwise, they said, the move would yield no results and Karachi would continue to bleed.
Members from all parties had spoken in favour or against it, but eventually only the MQM had voted against it.