PESHAWAR: The horrible blast at a madrassa in the provincial capital, wherein eight people were martyred and scores of others injured, dominated the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly proceedings on...
PESHAWAR: The horrible blast at a madrassa in the provincial capital, wherein eight people were martyred and scores of others injured, dominated the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly proceedings on Tuesday.
Initiating the debate, Maulana Lutfur Rahman of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) said a terrorist attack in Peshawar after a long time was a matter of grave concern. He said the incident created panic and fear but it also raised questions as to how the terrorists succeeded in carrying out the attack and reaching the madrassa in the provincial capital.
The JUI leader said the terrorist attack at a time when the opposition’s protest public meeting is scheduled in Peshawar created doubts and the government should take concrete steps to counter such bids. After offering fateha for the blast victims’ Inayatullah Khan of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) said it was a big terror incident which showed that terrorists were regrouping. He said terrorist attacks have been restarted in different parts of the province, including merged districts though the people had heaved a sigh of relief for some time. “This province has witnessed such incidents in the past for about one decade. However the question arises was it failure or negligence of the security agencies,” he added. The JI lawmaker said attacking madrassa and killing innocent children is extreme cowardice and those carrying out such attacks had no religion. “But at the same time the question raises how the perpetrators succeeded in reaching the target and why the government and security agencies failed to counter such incidents despite the claims that peace has been restored and terrorists eliminated,” he added.
Khushdil Khan of the Awami National Party (ANP) condemned the incident and said it was a horrific incident to be condemned in the strongest words. However, he raised the question as to how the security agencies failed to counter such incidents. He said terrorist attacks in the province at a time when the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) public meeting is scheduled in the provincial capital, created doubts. The ANP lawmaker said the government should take serious steps and investigate the incident to know who was responsible for the security lapse. He said implementation of the National Action Plan was needed to counter-terrorism. The legislators questioned the terrorist attack in Quetta during the PDM public meeting and then in Peshawar before the scheduled public meeting of the opposition. The Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentary leader Sardar Yousaf Zaman condemned the blast and called for strengthening security to counter such incidents.
He said people of the country in general and KP in particular have suffered from terrorism and the security forces and the general public rendered sacrifices in the war on terror and peace had been restored to a greater extent but sudden regrouping of terrorists and terrorist attacks point to security failure. The legislator said the Madrassa blast was a matter of concern for the opposition and a challenge for the government. Bilawal Afridi of the Balochistan Awami Party expressed concern over the incident and asked the government to take resumption of the terrorist attacks seriously and strengthen the security. He also demanded a compensation package to the affectees as well. Fazle Elahi of the PTI condemned the incident and demanded early compensation to the victims. Minister for Labour and Culture Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said the government was taking serious steps to maintain the peace. He said a high-level meeting discussed the situation and took serious decisions to counter such incidents. The House also witnessed a heated debate over a question by Shagufta Malik of the ANP about the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on the Status of Women. She said the commission was yet to be completed even after several months but the officials were drawing hefty salaries and misusing official vehicles. Nighat Orakzai of Pakistan People’s Party, Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha of PML-N and Mian Nisar Gul of JUI expressed concern over non-payment of assistance to disabled persons for the last two years. Minister for Social Welfare Hisham Inamullah acknowledged that the disabled persons were not receiving the assistance, but blamed the Finance Department for that saying it had not released fund.