ISLAMABAD: To show solidarity with the security forces fighting militants in North Waziristan Agency, the Upper House of parliament on Monday approved the Protection of Pakistan Bill 2014.
Criticising cancellation of all international flights to Peshawar after firing at a PIA plane which was about to land the Peshawar airport and the subsequent killing of a woman in the plane, the combined opposition senators staged a walkout from the House over what they claimed was indifference of the federal government. They claimed that the federal government had totally failed to restore flights from Peshawar airport by different airliners.
On a call-attention notice ANP’s Senator Afrasiab Khattak asked what action taken has been by the federal government to restore international flights to and from Peshawar. “The federal government did nothing and left the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the mercy of God,” he bemoaned, adding that if such behaviour continues, it will have serious consequences for the federating units. The senator noted that a large number of people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa work in the Gulf countries and they all prefer to come and depart from Peshawar instead of other parts of the country.
Meanwhile, Senator Zahid Khan said that the federal government could have summoned the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IG over the firing incident, but it did not bother to do so. Claiming that Punjab and Sindh have already announced that IDPs of North Waziristan Agency will not be allowed in these two provinces, he asked how will the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa fly from these two provinces. Speaking on the occasion Federal Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab said that the prime minister has taken serious notice of the attack on Karachi and Peshawar airports and directed strict safety at all airports.
The prime minister has already approved Rs 5 billion for the installation of different security equipment at all the airports so that security should be ensured. He assured the House that the federal government is not silent over this serious issue and is taking appropriate measures to ensure security at all airports. He also notes that civilian population surrounded all airports, which is a provincial matter, and in this regard the federal government is in contact with the provinces.
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