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January 3, 2015
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KP Assembly seeks decisive action against terrorism

Peshawar

January 3, 2015

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PESHAWAR: The national consensus that developed after the massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar trickled down to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly where treasury and opposition benches resolved to combat terrorism collectively and supported the national plan of action against this threat.
The assembly, through a unanimous resolution, called upon the national leadership not to fritter away the national unity and take decisive action against terrorism.“This assembly demands that the war against terrorism should be taken to its logical end by taking benefit of the national unity so that we could give a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan to our next generations,” said the joint resolution which condemned the “brutal attack” and offered sympathies and condolences to the bereaved families.
The provincial assembly acknowledged the demonstration of unity by the national leadership and the unanimous recommendations prepared by it for combating terrorism. The assembly called for ‘respectable’ return of Afghan refugees and displaced people.
The one-page resolution did not explain what changes did the provincial assembly want in foreign policy but it called for its review in the wake of the school attack. It also laid emphasis on making a national security policy for restoring internal peace.
The resolution, written in Urdu, demanded the highest civil award for the APS slain principal Tahira Qazi and the status of university for the attacked school.The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly met for the first time after the Army Public School carnage on December 16 last year. Speaker Asad Qaiser, who chaired the sitting, said the meeting would send a strong and clear message to the nation that they were serious about what happened with the schoolchildren.
However, the seriousness lacked from the beginning. The sitting started 110 minutes late at 3:50pm against the scheduled 2:00pm. The speaker asked the members to ensure their presence after Maghrib prayers till

the completion of the debate, but only 37 lawmakers out of 124 were on their seats after the break.
When the House took up the one-point agenda of discussing the school attack, the opposition members, as a show of unity, avoided criticism on the provincial government. All denounced the barbaric attack and called for keeping the national unity till the elimination of terrorism.
“This attack was the height of barbarism and callousness that cried the nation tears of blood,” said Maulana Lutfur Rahman, the opposition leader who belongs to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.“The terrorists thought they would bring the nation to its knees by this barbarism, but today we stand as firm against terrorism as a rock,” he added.
He blamed the country’s flawed policies for unending terrorism and believed Pakistan squandered several opportunities for peace and prosperity over the last 10 to 12 years. He said that because of these flawed policies they would be giving a bloodied future to their children. He said the abuse of military courts in the past had been the cause of worries of political leadership.
Qaumi Watan Party’s Sikandar Sherpao said the year 2014 had started with an attempt of attack on school and it ended with a massacre at a school. “On January 6, a student Aitzaz Hasan sacrificed himself and foiled an attempt by terrorists to kill students in a school in Hangu. But the year ended with a massacre at a school,” he deplored.
The QWP leader urged the national leadership not to damage the national unity or lose the focus on combating terrorism. He said the terrorists killed children, women, elderly people and displaced tribespeople but all were forgotten.
“The terrorists did not spare minorities, mosques, funerals and traditional hujras. This is the worst situation where now our children are not secure,” he said. “There must be a decisive action now,” he demanded.
Sikandar Shepao said action should be taken against the terrorists responsible for the attack, their facilitators, supporters and the entire network. He said some powers within the country must discontinue their policies of stoking war in the region, the only occasion when members thumped desks. Otherwise, he added, people would stand up.
Minister Shah Farman agreed. “KP and Fata have been turned into a football ground where everyone from around the world is free to play,” he said. “A situation has been created where we don’t know who’s our friend and who’s our enemy,” he added.
Inayatullah said children had become fuel for this war. He said that if international powers had been sponsoring violence in Pakistan, they were risking world’s peace as well.

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