Senate calls for effective policy to counter terrorism

* Govt asked to come out of ‘flux’ and take a quick decision against militants
Senate calls for effective policy to counter terrorism

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Monday criticised the government over its perceived lack of action against terrorists, who continue to kill security forces and civilians, across the country.
They demanded the government come out of the flux and quickly decide about taking action against the terrorists. Speaking on a point of order Senator Mian Raza Rabbani noted the country is confronting serious challenges. “During the last few days a new wave of terrorism and bomb blasts took precious lives of law enforcing agencies, journalists and general public in Karachi, Bannu. Today Rawalpindi and others. The silence of government gives more time to militants and they strengthen themselves and then attack in other parts of the country,” he said.
The PPP senator regretted that no serious efforts were being made to hold a joint parliamentary session and discuss the security situation of the country. He suggested calling an in-camera session. Rabbani regretted that the US Congress had passed a bill that made aid to Pakistan conditional with the release of Shakeel Afridi, who helped the US forces locate Osama Bin Laden. He termed it US interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs and questioned why was the Foreign Office silent over it. He suggested that Pakistan should give its reaction to this US bill. 
ANP’s Senator Afrasiab Khattak questioned what the state is doing to deal with militancy in the country. “A state within the state was established, but the government has been unable to take a decision. The performance of previous government was not good that is why people rejected them, but if the performance of incumbent government is good then it should take decision quickly,” he said. Khattak said the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has accepted the responsibility for several bomb blasts, but the government did nothing to stop it. 
“The TTP is living within Pakistan’s boundaries; they are involved in terrorists activities in Pakistan and also in other countries.” Khattak asked the government to take a quick decision and make a comprehensive policy against militants. PML-N’s Senator Hamza told the House that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has cancelled his official visit to Switzerland after Bannu (bomb blast. 
Meanwhile, the opposition members in the Senate staged a walkout over the murder of three employees of a private news channel in Karachi. Senate Deputy Chairman Saber Baloch postponed the proceedings of the House for some time when journalists walked out over the killing of journalists. Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab and Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali assured the journalists that the government is making a proper security policy, including one for journalists, within this week.  
Over the ministers’ assurance, the journalists ended their boycott. The Senate referred three bills to the standing committee concerned for further deliberation. One of these bills calls for the protection of the rights of domestic workers.  The Domestic Workers (Employment Rights) Bill 2013 envisions legal protection for domestic workers, such as cooks, drivers and maids, resident in private households. Senator Osman Saifullah Khan moved the bill. The Domestic Workers (Employment Rights) Bill 2013 will cover only the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) as labour-related laws are a provincial subject under the 18th Constitutional Amendment. It is expected that the provinces will follow with their own legislation once the bill passes for the capital territory. 

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