MPs question efficacy of National Action Plan



ISLAMABAD: Federal lawmakers on Tuesday offered their own recipes for countering terrorism and violent extremism in the country with some calling for resetting relations with neighbouring states, and others questioning the efficacy of the nation’s strategy to deal with the menace.

The government also came under seething criticism from opposition lawmakers over the absence of the country’s security czar, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, from the National Assembly before the house passed a resolution condemning Monday’s deadly suicide bombing in Quetta.

Mehmood Khan Achakzai, the chief of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), was most vocal in criticism of the intelligence agencies as he dubbed the Quetta carnage ‘failure of agencies’.

He called on the prime minister to order the agencies to unmask the perpetrators of Quetta bombing, treat it as a ‘test case’ and sack all those who refuse to investigate. “Actually, it is an attack on Pakistan,” Achakzai said but asked the intelligence agencies not to point accusatory finger at India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) or Israel’s Mossad.

Referring to the visit of Premier Nawaz Sharif and army chief General Raheel Sharif to Quetta on Monday, he said the two Sharifs travelled to Quetta separately. “What message do we want to send across to the world?”

“We have to take a decision today that we will not fight anyone’s proxy war,” Achakzai said while urging the government, the army and the judiciary to refresh and implement its resolve to defeat terrorism.

Achakzai proposed that a joint session of parliament be convened to discuss the challenges faced by the country on internal and external fronts. Though he offered prayers for the victims of Quetta blast but said: “I will not be offering Dua in this house in future. This is not merely for offering prayers.”

Minister for Housing and Works Akram Durrani referred to the statements of Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri and army chief Gen Raheel, who claimed that the Quetta blast was an attack on the multibillion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“The prime minister consulted each political party on all issues with regard to CPEC. We should expose and name our enemy whether it is India or the United States. Merely alluding [to a nameless enemy] will not serve our purpose of eliminating terrorism,” he said. He also urged the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to take notice of a TV show in which Achakzai and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman were described as traitors.

Major (retd) Tahir from the PML-N defended the intelligence agencies which he said were the best in the world. Jamaat-e-Islami’s Sher Akbar proposed that the government pull out of the US-led alliance and improve relations with its neighbours.

After much bickering, the house unanimously passed a resolution, condemning the Quetta bombing. “This house strongly condemns the cowardly attack in Quetta. The nation is grieving over the loss of precious lives including that of Balochistan Bar Association president Bilal Anwar Kasi,” said the resolution moved by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.

Expressing solidarity with the people of Balochsitan, particularly the legal fraternity, law enforcement agencies and media, the resolution expressed resolve to foil the nefarious designs of the anti-state elements and sternly deal with the terrorist elements. “Incidents the likes of Quetta cannot deter the resolve of the nation against terrorism,” it added.

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