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By Mumtaz Alvi
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
From Print Edition
 
 

 

ISLAMABAD: Senate Tuesday resumed discussion on the motion on law and order situation in the country with particular reference to target killings and sectarian violence in Balochistan, Karachi and Gilgit-Baltistan.

 

Treasury and opposition senators spoke at length on the law and order situation, and some believed the state was patronising armed groups and even there was a demand that by involving all the stakeholders it should be decided whether Pakistan was to be run like a civilised state or not.

 

Maulana Adbul Ghafoor Haideri of JUI-F alleged that how could the law and order situation be controlled when so many influential figures, including ministers and legislators were involved in kidnapping for ransom and other criminal activities.

 

“Today kidnapping for ransom has become the highest paying business,” he remarked.About the Asghar Khan case judgement and the army chief’s speech, he said that when the state institutions would not act within their well-defined limits and resort to funding for achieving electoral results of their liking, there would be debates, and criticism would also be hurled at them.

 

The senator said there was a warning that the conduct of a certain institutions should not be discussed anywhere but if politicians committed a mistake, they were produced before courts. “But it is also said that a certain institution is being defamed through criticism. If someone commits wrong, he has to be held responsible for this,” he noted.

 

About Balochistan situation, he said things would not improve until the ‘powerful hand’ there reviewed its policies in the province. The National Party Senator, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, also charged that the state was involved in the law and order situation and patronised certain armed groups in Karachi and militant forces in Balochistan.

 

“Does this happen anywhere that a person, who confesses being a target killer, is set free due to lack of evidence? Has the state decided to keep promoting terrorists or will stop doing so from now on,” he wondered.

 

The senator said that the state was solely responsible for acts of terrorism and unfortunately the target killers were being freed and in this connection, he referred to ex-US ambassador Anne Patterson’s figures, leaked by the WikiLeaks about Karachi terrorists. “If these figures are correct, I don’t think, there will ever be peace in the port city,” he said.

 

Quoting from the figures, he said MQM had 15,000 armed personnel, different Sindhi and Baloch groups consisted of 3,500 persons while Taliban and other armed groups including mafias were estimated to be 15,000 persons. He wondered how and who would restore peace in Karachi if there were 30,000-35,000 armed and trained personnel active there.

 

“Each criminal has a connection with the state one way or the other. I mean they are backed by the state or its institutions be they the rangers or police etc,” he alleged.

 

The senator said the state would have to change its attitude and then a line or a strategy could be adopted to challenge the anti-state elements. He recalled how the state had supported Mujahideen in Afghanistan and then got them crushed by Taliban, and today, lashkars had been formed to eliminate Taliban.

 

He said same strategy was being followed in Balochistan, wherein the state backed one group to crush the other instead of acting itself against the enemy. He said an SMS was in circulation in Quetta about sharing information in case any Hazara was spotted in the provincial capital and the result was no Hazara student was going to the Balochistan University for the last five months. “Hazara community is confined to a particular area today,” he claimed.

 

He said there was no government in Balochistan and the same was mentioned by the apex court in its recent order but Islamabad was unmoved by it.

 

ANP’s Shahi Syed, Tahir Hussain Mashhadi of MQM and PPP’s Usman Saifullah also took part in the debate and called for functioning of all the state institutions within their constitutional ambits and the law taking its course against the terrorists and militants.

 

Earlier the firebrand PPP Senator, Faisal Raza Abidi, delivered a hard-hitting speech. His remarks were expunged by the chair. He protested against the decision of the chair.