ISLAMABAD: The treasury and opposition in the National Assembly on Wednesday agreed to constitute a fact-finding committee to probe the growing incidents of violence against religious minorities in various parts of the country.
The violence spree against the religious minorities in the country dominated the proceedings of the house when Deputy Parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Shah Mehmood Qureshi drew the attention of the house towards the kidnapping and killings of businessmen from the Hindu community continues in Sindh province. “Unknown attackers killed two relatives of PTI Member of National Assembly Lal Chand in Sindh’s Umerkot district few days back”, Shah pointed out and noted that these conditions have been pressing Hindu community to migrate from rural Sindh.
He said the government should acknowledge the violence being suffered by members of religious minority communities and should provide them protection as a matter of priority. PTI MNA Lal Chand pointed out that incidents of targeted killings, kidnappings and forced marriages of Hindu girls were continuing in Sindh and the government had failed to protect the rights of religious minorities. He demanded that the government take serious steps to counter such violence against religious minorities.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Ayaz Somroo said that the government should initiate an impartial inquiry to ascertain the facts behind the incidents of kidnappings and killings of members of Sindh’s Hindu community. PPP MNA Nawab Yousuf Talpur said it was difficult to understand why the minorities were under attack across the country, especially in Sindh province. He said the National Assembly Speaker should set up a committee to probe the incidents of violence against minorities. “It is necessary that the Speaker of the National Assembly set up a committee to visit the areas in question to determine the facts surrounding incidents of violence,” he added.
Talpur also presented a motion to set up a fact-finding committee in this regard. Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said it was the responsibility of both the federal and the provincial governments to provide security to minorities and both should work together in resolving the issues of minorities. “It is shameful that the sufferings of minorities are increasing day by.... these incidents create a bad image of Pakistan in the world,” the minister said. He said the government will discuss the issues of minority communities with provincial governments.
Asif said a committee of MNAs should be constituted to probe the circumstances behind such incidents to resolve the matter in a lasting manner. PTI’s Javed Hashmi criticized the government for what he said its highhandedness to stop his plane landing at Sialkot airport. “Shame on your”, Hashmi said while narrating the incident. However he refused to move a privilege motion on the issue saying it would be useless. Later, National Assembly’s Deputy Speaker Murtaza Abbasi asked Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid and PPP MNA Nawab Yousuf Talpur to discuss the terms of reference (TORs) and the names of the members to finalise the committee in this regard. Federal Minister for Science and Technology introduced two bills in the National Assembly on Wednesday, including The Foreign Exchange Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and The Equity Participation Fund (Repeal) Bill, 2014. Chairman Special Committee on Parliament Lodges presented a report on the Parliament Lodges.
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