Opposition member Senator Farhatullah Babar of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said that there can be no fight against militancy, unless proscribed outfits are stopped from reappearing under different names to continue their operations.
“Some sections of the state still seem to be running with the hare and hunting with the hound,” Babar said. “As long as this surreptitious, devious and anti-state policy continues behind any facade, those organisations that are engaged in this are doing a monumental disservice to the state and the country’s future generations.”
He also urged the government to make public the inquiry report into the December 16, 2014 attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.
Senator Azam Swati of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) linked the propagation of terrorism to poor policies and enforcement by the government.
He also criticised Sindh Assembly’s decision to limit powers of the paramilitary Rangers in the province. While providing unlimited powers was not advisable, Swati said that by limiting powers for a force which has taken criminals to task was uncalled for.
Senator Usman Khan Kakar of the Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) pointed out how the delayed reforms in the Federally Administered and Tribal Areas (Fata) in addition to lack of basic amenities and job opportunities was helping to turn it into a haven for terrorists. “Fata has become a haven for terrorists and a hell for its residents.” He was backed by Senator Shahi Syed of the Awami National Party (ANP) who said that Fata and other tribal areas were being ignored.
Postponing OIC conference
The Senate also criticised the government for postponing the October science and technology conference by Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), deriding the move a huge embarrassment for Pakistan and also the president.
Senator Babar said he couldn’t think of any reason for postponing the conference other than preventing the projection of the country and its head of state at an international forum of science and technology. He also discussed President Mamnoon Hussain’s May speech to the joint session of parliament.
Swati added that the country had lost an opportunity to promote its soft image and invest in its human resource.
Pointing to the corruption at the top of national institutions, he called for corrupt officers to be taken to task.
On Thursday, the Senate subcommittee on finance, revenues and privatisation urged the privatisation commission to ensure that all processes relating to the divestment of the Heavy Electrical Complex (HEC) are completely transparent.
Privatisation Commission Chairman and Minister of State on Privatisation Muhammad Zubair briefed the committee regarding HEC divestment. He assured the panel that detailed written replies on the process would be submitted.
Construction on dams next year
Minister of State for Water and Power Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali Thursday told the Senate during the question hour on Thursday that construction work on Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha dams would start next year.
“A number of hydel power projects are being carried out on fast track basis in a transparent manner, and the work on Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha dams will start in 2016 to meet growing energy needs.” he said during the question-hour.