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June 10, 2014

Karachi attack worst example of security failure: Opposition

June 10, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly (NA) on Monday deplored the terrorist attack on the Karachi airport while the opposition expressed its dismay over the government’s silence on the terror bid and questioned the absence of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar from the House.
It demanded that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif take the parliament into confidence on the matter and said the government and the opposition were on the same page for taking solid steps to formulate a policy against the terrorists.
The NA session resumed after a delay of two hours due to disturbance of flights schedule in Karachi. Members from both the sides unanimously condemned the terrorist attack on the Karachi airport and on the pilgrims in Taftan in Balochistan.
Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah said the terrorist attack on the Karachi airport was a “national security disaster”. He questioned the government’s silence on it and absence of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar from the NA.
Sheikh Rashid suspected involvement of a foreign hand in the incident and questioned who will benefit from the attacks on Pakistan. He questioned what benefit will the tribal people from North Waziristan gain from the attack. “If such an incident had happened in India, they would have brought their forces to (our) borders.”
Minister for States and Frontier Regions Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch said the war against terrorism was a national war.
Khursheed Shah urged the prime minister to take the House into confidence in this regard. “We don’t speak out as we are afraid of being killed. Who will speak if we keep quiet,” he questioned.
The opposition leader said, “We will fight like a lion and make Pakistan a cradle of peace. How can the people of Pakistan feel safe when the government is itself confused?”
He said there was no response from the interior ministry to the incident, which shows that the concerned ministry was unaware of what was going on in Karachi.

“It seems that the prime minister tried to find out the interior minister the whole night and he was able to find him on Monday morning. Then the prime minister sent the interior minister to Karachi,” he added.
He said the Taliban had accepted responsibility for the attack and the government was silent over it.
The opposition leader said all the political parties of the country authorised the government to do anything for peace eight months ago but the government had not taken parliament or the political leadership into confidence on the fate of the dialogue.
The opposition leader was of the view that even the Parliament House was not secure anymore as a few weeks back, Sikh protesters entered it and no one stopped them. He said it was time that the prime minister take the nation into confidence and explain which ministry was responsible for the attack – the Defence Ministry, Interior Ministry or Aviation Division.
He said the PM’s adviser on aviation had reached Karachi on Sunday night but the interior minister was not able to reach there. He said by doing so, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar wanted to give a message to “someone” that he did not want to fight with anyone.
The opposition leader said he wanted to ask the question from all the institutions of the country that when pilgrims entered Iran, they were always safe but as soon as they returned home, they were attacked and martyred.
He said the parliamentarians’ phones were tapped, and their activities were monitored but “they” (those who tap phone calls) did not know about the terrorist attacks.
He said even they are more interested to know what TV channels the government was with and slogans were raised against those TV channels. “We are busy in such petty fights and nobody cares about the security of Pakistan,” he said.
Shah said if anyone wanted to live, then live like a lion rather than a jackal. “Pakistan belongs to all of us and all of us have to come forward to make our land safe and secure,” he added.
The opposition leader also appealed to the media not to telecast such incidents live as it will create a wrong impression.
PTI’s Deputy Parliamentary Leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the government looked paralysed following the terrorist attack.
He said the interior minister should have rushed to Karachi on Sunday night. “The interior minister should have gone to Karachi after taking parliament into confidence,” he added.
Qureshi said Pakistanis wanted peace in the country and in the wake of terrorist attacks, the debate on budget was meaningless.
“When Karachi bleeds, how the finance minister can achieve the revenue target of Rs3.7 trillion which he proposed for the next fiscal year,” he added.
Ameer Zaman of the JUI-F extended support to the government to tackle the menace of terrorism.Abul Waseem of the MQM said the party was raising its voice against the Taliban in Karachi for long.
Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid strongly condemned the terrorist incidents in Karachi and Taftan.He paid tributes to the armed forces for bravely foiling the bid of terrorists. He said the interior minister had gone to Karachi to get details of the incident and will give a detailed statement in the House on Tuesday (today).
Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Chaudhry Barjees Tahir said today was a very sad day for the nation. He said the nation had to make a resolve to fight terrorism. He said the government will not compromise on its writ. “The government is clear that it will hold a dialogue with those who are ready for it,” he added.
He said the PML-N government had inherited terrorism. The House offered Fateha for those who lost their lives in Karachi and Taftan to terrorists on Sunday night.

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