ISLAMABAD, Oct 15: Lack of interest and absence of senators marred the proceedings on a private member’s day on Monday, forcing Chairman Nayyar Bokhari to adjourn the house without taking up any item on the agenda.
A brief exchange of arguments between lawmakers of the Pakistan People’s Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement on the issue of deweaponisation of Karachi was the only highlight of the day’s proceedings which continued for almost an hour without quorum.
Speaking on a resolution moved by Shahi Syed of the Awami National Party calling upon the government to “take effective steps to deweaponise Karachi in view of the prevailing law and order situation in the city”, MQM’s Tahir Mashhadi said the entire country should be deweaponised, adding that a campaign to deweaponise only one city would be a discriminatory act.
He said terrorists were killing people in Swat and other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Terrorist organisations purchased arms with money looted from banks. He said the MQM opposed terrorism in all its manifestations.
Mr Mashhadi called for efforts to depoliticise police. He accused police of receiving money from arm dealers. He regretted that there had been open display of arms in the country and no-one had the courage to ask the people carrying arms if they had licence.
Dr Farogh Naseem, another MQM Senator, suggested that a resolution should ask the government to take steps to stop the influx of arms into Karachi.
Saeed Ghani of the PPP rejected Mr Mashhadi’s contention that the launching of deweaponisation campaign in one city would be a discriminatory act. He said a campaign in Karachi would lead to deweaponisation of the whole country. Mr Ghani said that a minor incident in Karachi affected the entire country.
Mohammad Hamza of the Pakistan Muslim League-N criticised the government for its handling of the Karachi situation and said there was no writ of the government in the city which had become a depot of illegal arms.
Interestingly, it was Senator Hasil Bizenjo of the opposition National Party who said Interior Minister Rehman Malik had informed him on telephone that he would not be able to attend the proceedings because of illness.
After that senators agreed to defer the agenda concerning the Ministry of Interior till the time he got well. The chairman adjourned the proceedings for Tuesday morning.