Senate Standing Committee on Interior has strongly condemned two terrorist attacks in Balochistan within three days; first at Pearl Continental Hotel Gwadar on Saturday wherein five people lost their lives and the second blast near a mosque in the Satellite Town Quetta on Monday night in which four police personnel were martyred. The Committee offered Fateha for the departed souls and extended heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families of the martyrs.
The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator A. Rehman Malik here at the Parliament House on Tuesday and was attended among others by Senators Dr. Shahzad Wasim, Kalsoom Parveen, Muhammad Javed Abbasi, Chaudhary Tanvir Khan, Sardar Shafique Tareen, and Haji Momin Khan Afiridi as members and Senator Gen (r) Abdul Qayyum, Senator Muhammad Yaqoob Khan Nasar and Senator Rukhsana Zuberi as movers. The meeting was also attended by the Federal Secretary Interior, Ansar Shaikh Mayor Metropolitan, Chairman CDA, Chairman and DG NADRA, DIG Security Islamabad Police, DIG KPK Police, SSP Abbotabad and other senior officials from CDA and Ministry of Interior.
In his opening remarks, while discussing the recent wave of terrorism, Senator A. Rehman Malik said our hearts and souls are with the victim families of martyrs and we share their pains and sorrows. He said that the new wave of terrorism is of great concern for us as behind such terrorist activities, the involvement of foreign hands cannot be ignored. He said that it is time to review implementation status of National Action Plan (NAP). The Chairman Committee stated that an exclusive meeting on one point agenda of National Action Plan (NAP) will be held soon. He directed to inform the Committee that when it will be possible for the ministry to brief about implementation status of National Action Plan. He also directed the security of sensitive and public places across the country particularly in Balochistan must be enhanced and tightened to avoid recurrence of such terrorist incidents. He said “two terrorist attacks within three days are of great concerns for us all”. Senator Malik said that anti state elements is trying to weak Pakistan through terrorism in Balochistan.
ISSUE OF MISSING PERSONS:
Senator A. Rehman Malik said that the committee expresses its deep concerns on the issue of missing persons and it has already been sought out a report from the Commission of Enquiry on Enforced Disappearances. He said that the committee fully supports and stands by the families of the missing persons and will be pursuing the issue. The Committee also expressed concerns over missing persons. We are standing by firm with the families of missing persons and equally share their grief, Malik said, adding that it was stated following Gawadar attack a missing person namely Hamal Khan was among the attackers. “Later it was revealed that the news related to Hamal Khan was fake”, he said.
He said that it was he (Senator A. Rehman Malik) as then Interior Minister who had constituted the Commission of Enquiry on Enforced Disappearances. He added that the Commission has already submitted its report on the missing persons in the previous meeting of the Committee, according to which more than 90% missing persons have been recovered so far.
MATTER OF ADMINISTRATIVE, FINANCIAL AND LEGAL ISSUES OF CDA AND MCI:
The Senate Standing Committee on Interior considered the longstanding administrative, financial and legal issues between Capital Development Authority (CDA) and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI). Major (R) Azam Suleman Khan Secretary Interior while briefing the committee about Islamabad Metropolitan Corporation (MCI) said that Local Government Act, 2015 have so far not been implemented. He added that the matter had been forwarded to former interior minister and then send to federal cabinet. The Chairman Senator Rehman Malik informed that the matter was taken up in the meetings held on 8th November, 2018, 2nd April, 2019 and 24th April, 2019. Senator A. Rehman Malik had nominated Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq Shaikh, as Coordinator to solve the issues between CDA and MCI, with consultation of the Ministry of Interior and all other stakeholders amicably. He stated that as per ICT Local Government Act, 2015, there were 37 directorates which were planned to be moved from CDA to MCI out of which 22 directorates have been transferred from CDA to MCI along with the staff. There were 15 directorates which were to be transferred from CDA to. He stated that the Secretary General of CBA of CDA Mr. Amanullah Khan was also given full chance to present his point of view. The Chairman Committee, Senator A. Rehman Malik presented in the meeting a report which was compiled by Coordinator Sub-Committee and the report was adopted unanimously by the Committee. The Chairman Committee directed that there should be a proper guarantee/ coverage be given to the benefits/ facilities of the employees entitled under the policy of CDA. He directed that the employees of CDA should not be transferred to MCI without their consent according to Rule-115 (3) of ICT Local Government Act, 2015. He also directed that a proper legislation be made covering all aspects and reservations of CDA employees as mentioned by the Secretary General, CBA of CDA. Senator A. Rehman Malik further directed the Ministry of Interior to take immediate measures towards implementation on the recommendations of the Sub-Committee within 15 days and intimate the Committee accordingly. The committee also asked Interior Ministry to share details of funds transferred by CDA to MCI with the committee. The Chairman committee directed that the committee should be informed that how much funds would be transferred to MCI, he said, adding that funds should be transferred within 15 days to MCI.
POINT OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE REGARDING THE HURDLES FACED BY THE PEOPLE IN CNIC ISSUANCE RAISED BY SENATOR MUHAMMAD YAQOOB KHAN NASAR:
A point of Public Importance regarding hurdles being faced by the people in issuance of CNIC all over the country was considered by the Committee. The Committee was briefed in detail by Usman Mobin Chairman NADRA. He informed the committee that over 200,000 applicants file application for obtaining CNIC and NADRA issues 68000 CNICs to applicants on daily basis. Senator A. Rehman Malik recommended setting up a special cell at NADRA for addressing public complaints. NADRA receive 200 complaints on daily basis, Mobin said, adding that over 8000 complaints have so far been received through Prime Minister’s complaint cell. He said that NADRa address public complaints within one day. The Chairman Committee directed NADRA to set up a complaint cell at United Arab Emirate (UAE) embassy as the Overseas Pakistanis are facing problems in getting CNICs. He said that NADRA should solve problems of overseas Pakistanis on priority basis. The Chairman Committee also directed Chairman NADRA to take strict measures against corrupt practices regarding issuance of fake CNICs as this might be one of the major factors contributing to terrorism and defaming the country.
POINT OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE REGARDING “MURDER OF AFZAL KOHISTANI
The committee was informed that an incident of firing took place on 06-03-2019 near Children Hospital of Abbottabad in which Mr. Afzal S/o Narang r/o Kohistan was murdered. The SSP Abbottabad informed that the accused was identified but he has secured pre-arrest bail from the Court but all the other suspects are in the custody of the police.
THREATS BEING HURLED UPON SENATOR MOMIN KHAN AFRIDI
The Committee also considered the point of public importance regarding threats to Senator Momin Khan Afridi referred by the Chairman Senate. The committee has asked IG police about the action taken on committee’s decision of previous meeting, in which committee has directed to shift the investigation to another officer. SP Saddar, Peshawar briefed the Committee that on the directions of the Committee, the investigation of the said case has been shifted to another officer. Six accused are identified in the case, belongs to Khyber District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and correspondence is in process with concerned district police for their arrest. The Chairman Committee, Senator A. Rehman Malik has directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police to submit the report on said matter within eight days. The Chairman Committee has further directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police to conduct an inquiry against the previous in charge of the investigation in said case.
CONSTRUCTION OF FIRING RANGE IN PRECINCTS OF AMERICAN EMBASSY IN ISLAMABAD
The Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik gave a brief preamble upon the above-stated matter and apprised the members that he had taken the suo-moto notice upon the same, on 22nd April, 2019. He informed that he had directed the Ministry of Interior and Chief Commissioner Islamabad to investigate the matter and submit detailed report on it to the Committee. He informed that the CDA has provided a report regarding allotment of land to the US Embassy. He said that in this regard letter was also written to Ministry of Interior, Islamabad to report on the matter but report not received. Senator General (Rtd.) Abdul Qayyum briefed the committee that he had taken the matter in the House in the name of designing and construction of firing range in the Diplomatic Enclave, Islamabad. He informed that an advertisement was floated on the website of American Embassy for the renovation of the firing range amounting to $1Lac- 2.5Lac and the firms were asked to submit their bids for the same. Senator A. Rehman Malik apprised the members that he had taken the matter with Secretary, Interior and it was revealed that the said police firing range was located outside the boundary of Diplomatic Enclave, established for the training of their personnel and the idea was to upgrade the said firing range. Consequently, the Ministry of Interior signed a MoU by mistake. He further professed that such MoU was not in order and no such MoU can be signed without the consent from Cabinet Division. He also clear the air by making a note that there is no such idea of designing of any firing range in American Embassy, as reported by him, the Chairman CDA and American Embassy. He also took cognizance of signing of MoU with American Embassy from them. In response, they informed that the said MoU for taking the help of Americans has been cancelled. The Members raised their concerns upon construction of any firing range in precincts of Diplomatic Enclave. The Chairman Committee asked the Inspector General, Islamabad to hold an inquiry and submit a report on the hidden motives behind signing of such agreement and discarding the same lately. He asked the Secretary Interior to submit a detailed report on the findings in this regard and expose the original facts before the Committee.