Criminals using Afghan SIMs in Karachi: MPs

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A treasury member made a startling revelation in the Senate on Monday, claiming that Afghan cellular SIMs were being used in Karachi by criminals to demand ransom and extortion.
Expressing grave concern over the deteriorating law and order across the country, especially in Karachi, the treasury members of the Upper House called for taking immediate measures, including an operation against gangsters, to restore the writ of the government in the port city.
Though it was a senator from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) who raised the Karachi situation, Shahi Syed of the Awami National Party (ANP) claimed that gangsters of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were using SIMs issued in Afghanistan in Karachi to demand ransom.
He said 17 people had been killed in Karachi on Sunday only, while industrialists were shifting their businesses from the port city as a gang war was going on unabated.
Syed said 40 offices of his party had been shut in Karachi alone and the TTP had claimed responsibility.
“What would the law and order situation be like when killers are inducted into police as political bribe,” he argued. He said the criminals were seeking millions of rupees in ransom through phones calls that could not be traced. The ANP leader called for conducting an operation in Karachi against criminals.
Speaking on the motion during the Senate proceedings, Col (r) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, the mover, said the interior minister or state minister for interior should have been present in the House during the debate.
Senate Chairman Nayyer Hussain Bokhari also took cognisance of the matter and asked the leader of the House to ensure presence of either of the ministers and the staff of the Interior Ministry to take notes of the speeches made by members in absence of the interior minister.
He said if nobody had been tasked by the Interior Ministry to take notes, the interior secretary should be summoned and questioned over the lapse. Senator Dr Farogh Nasim of the MQM said local police officials should be tasked to take care of the law and order and the appointments in police should be made on merit.
Abdul Haseeb Khan of the MQM said there was no writ of the government in Sindh and even police officials could not enter some specific areas of Karachi. He said the number of killings and abductions were increasing rapidly and needed to be controlled.
Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari directed the Interior Ministry to submit a detailed report within three days, pinpointing those responsible for raiding the residence of Leader of the House Jehangir Badr on Sunday.
Calling the incident unfortunate, the chairman directed the Interior Ministry to submit why the raid was conducted and sanctioned it and whether there were any search warrants for raiding the premises.
Earlier, Leader of the House Jehangir Badr said some officials of Punjab and Islamabad police, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) raided his residence in the federal capital. Leader of the Opposition Ishaq Dar condemned the incident and demanded an enquiry to bring the culprits to the book.
Raza Rabbani said a conspiracy was being hatched to malign politicians and such raids were part of the vilification campaign against the politicians.
Speaking on another point of order, Senator Farhatullah Babar took exception to the instructions to the MPs to sign fresh declarations about their nationality even after they had already signed such declarations at the time of filing nomination papers.
He said there was no quarrel with the constitutional position on nationality and election to parliament.
He said the issue was that under what law the MPs were being directed to file fresh declarations. Babar said those who gave wrong affidavits were now being prosecuted.
“This is fair enough and any other MP who is thus found to have submitted a wrong affidavit should also be punished but it is not lawful to ask them to submit fresh declarations and that also in a humiliating manner,” he said.
He then read out from the letter of the ECP to the Senate Secretariat that asked the Senate secretary to summon individual members to his office and get him or her sign the affidavit.
Babar said this was not permitted under any law to ask for this additional requirement after a candidate had already submitted his affidavit.
Signing declarations is not the issue but the issue is why fresh declarations he said and thereby paint MPs as liars.
He said what happened to Badr on Sunday night and fresh declarations were symptoms of a systematic plan to erode the parliament’s authority and show it disrespect.
He said the entire parliament should not be punished or held in contempt for the wrong affidavits given by some. He said parliament never criticised the judiciary as an institution just because some of them had taken oath under the PCO.
Elaborating, he said legislators did not raise the question of Arsalan Iftikhar in parliament out of respect for the judiciary.
The Senate also strongly condemned the airing of a defamatory video clip to malign the personality of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with the members demanding the government convey their sentiments to the United Nations for necessary action against perpetrators.
Speaking on another point of order, Senator Farhatullah Babar took exception to the instructions to the MPs to sign fresh declarations about their nationality even after they had already signed such declarations at the time of filing nomination papers.
He said there was no quarrel with the constitutional position on nationality and election to parliament. He said the issue was that under what law the MPs were being directed to file fresh declarations. Babar said those who gave wrong affidavits were now being prosecuted.
“This is fair enough and any other MP who is thus found to have submitted a wrong affidavit should also be punished but it is not lawful to ask them to submit fresh declarations and that also in a humiliating manner,” he said. He then read out from the letter of the ECP to the Senate Secretariat that asked the Senate secretary to summon individual members to his office and get him or her sign the affidavit.
Babar said this was not permitted under any law to ask for this additional requirement after a candidate had already submitted his affidavit.
Signing declarations is not the issue but the issue is why fresh declarations he said and thereby paint MPs as liars.
He said what happened to Badr on Sunday night and fresh declarations were symptoms of a systematic plan to erode the parliament’s authority and show it disrespect.
He said the entire parliament should not be punished or held in contempt for the wrong affidavits given by some. He said parliament never criticised the judiciary as an institution just because some of them had taken oath under the PCO.
Elaborating, he said legislators did not raise the question of Arsalan Iftikhar in parliament out of respect for the judiciary.
The Senate also strongly condemned the airing of a defamatory video clip to malign the personality of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with the members demanding the government convey their sentiments to the United Nations for necessary action against perpetrators.

3 COMMENTS

  1. It wasnt the same shahi syed who always deny Talibans in Karachi and now crying that their 40 offices has been shut down by Talibans?

  2. This is very disturbing news. One wonders why any step has not been taken by PTA or some other agency responsible for the security. The other day a leading media house revealed that a Sim belonging to any individual can be used by any criminal and for this purpose a software has been developed. I hope something will be done to stop this criminal activities.

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