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Women’s killing in Hangu air strike echoes in Senate

By Muhammad Anis

ISLAMABAD: The Senate was informed on Friday that the Ministry of Defence had been asked to furnish details about the killing of six women and a female child in an air strike at a house in Hangu.

Responding to a point of order on the floor of the House, Minister of State for Interior Tasneem Qureshi said the house was attacked with a fighter fighter. He said a reply had been sought from the Ministry of Defence in this regard.

The point of order was raised by senators Maulana Muhammad Khan Shirani, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Maulana Gul Naseeb of the JUI-F. The minister’s reply failed to satisfy the senators. Maulana Shirani said the minister should have given a satisfactory reply.

Shirani said the house was raided with fighter planes in the settled area of Hangu in which six women were also killed. Demanding of the government to justify loss of innocent lives, he questioned whether the women were also terrorists. “It is the responsibility of the government to provide protection to citizens and not to kill them,” he said.

He said the seminary of JUI-F’s local Amir Maulana Din Asghar was also attacked, in which Maulana Muhammad Amin, his son and nephew were martyred.Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said none of the religious parties supported terrorist acts in any part of the country, but still the seminary of Maulana Din Asghar was attacked. He said F-16 aircrafts were used in the attack.

Haideri said both the JUI-F and the ANP were the allies of the government, but their leaders were being targeted.The Senate chairman asked the minister of state for interior to sit with the JUI-F senators and remove their grievances. However, Maulana Shirani insisted that the details of the tragic incident should be provided on the floor of the House.

On another point of order, Professor Muhammad Ibrahim of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) said the displaced people were not being allowed to enter Bannu and those who offered them shelter at their houses were questioned and summoned by the local police.

The minister said the government would look into the matter and grievances of the affected people would be removed. On another point of order, the minister sought proposal from the senator.

Senator Ishaq Dar of the PML-N strongly criticised the performance of cabinet members, saying the ministers came to the House without any preparation. “Instead of giving satisfactory answers, the ministers are seeking proposals from senators,” he said.

He said the copies of the economic survey, which was released on Thursday, were yet to be provided to the members of the Senate, which was a serious flaw. Requesting the chair to take notice of the issue, Dar said parliament was being ignored continuously.

Senator Haji Adeel Khan of the ANP supported Dar’s point of view, saying the privilege of the House had been breached and the matter should be referred to the privilege committee.Chairman Farooq H Naek asked the leader of the House Nayyar Bokhari to take up the matter with the authorities concerned.

Source: The News

Date:6/13/2009

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