Lawmakers keep up with point-scoring over law and order in Karachi

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Lawmakers from various political parties on Wednesday kept up with their point-scoring over law and order in Karachi in the National Assembly, with the MQM legislators claiming that the PPP’s Sindh cabinet ministers were conspiring to disintegrate the country while a PML-N lawmaker called for summoning the heads of all security and intelligence agencies to inform members of the Lower House who was conspiring against the country and the people of Karachi.
Earlier, PML-N lawmaker Zahid Hamid moved a motion to suspend the question hour and the business on the agenda to discuss the unrest and killings in Karachi. The motion was passed by the House unanimously.
Clarity of party policy was missing as two senior PML-N legislators contradicted each other on the Karachi unrest with party’s Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal calling for a briefing by security agencies’ heads and Javed Hashmi demanding a political solution to the issue. “Around 1,139 people have been killed due to unrest in Karachi in the last six months. The deteriorating law and order is taking a serious toll on the country’s economy, which continues to sink in comparison with other economies in the regions that are growing. While economic activities are thriving in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and China, Pakistan is the only country which is sinking economically. We can’t remain silent to the situation in Karachi anymore,” said Iqbal.
Hashmi, meanwhile, urged the leaderships of all political parties to join hands to address the Karachi issue. He proposed a national commission to resolve the issue on permanent basis. Hashmi said the country’s population had increased manifolds and there was a need to create more provinces to address the people’s problems. “At least four new provinces should be formed in Punjab alone. Karachi is a mega city where people speak various languages – Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Pashto, Saraiki. Anti-state elements have engaged in incidents of killing in Karachi just to create ethnic and linguistic violence,” he said.
Calling for de-weaponisation of Karachi, Railways Minister Bilour said the magistracy system would be helpful in restoring peace. He said the country’s entire political leadership, including MQM chief Altaf Hussain, must come to Karachi, sit together and find a solution to the unrest.
MQM lawmaker Abdul Qadir Khanzada said incidents of violence were part of a conspiracy to disintegrate the country and divide Sindh.
“If the rulers wanted to replace the local government system with the magistracy system, they should have held a referendum. But they followed a dictator’s mindset and tried to do it by force. Now people of Karachi have written their decision on the walls of the city,” he said, referring to the wall-chalking in Karachi demanding a new province for Mohajirs.

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