Senators condemn assassination attempt on Ahsan Iqbal

In this handout photograph released by the Press Information Department (PID) Punjab on May 6, 2018, injured Pakistan's Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal (C) is evacuated from a helicopter on their arrival in Lahore. Pakistan's Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was shot in the arm in a suspected assassination attempt ahead of nationwide elections due this year, but will survive, his aide and officials said. / AFP PHOTO / PID / Handout

ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers in the Senate on Monday strongly condemned the assassination attempt on Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and urged the nation to unite for the cause of exterminating the menace of extremism and terrorism from Pakistan once and for all.

Leader of the House Raja Zafar-ul-Haq apprised the house about the health of Ahsan Iqbal and expressed satisfaction that his condition was stable.

Opposition leader Sherry Rehman strongly condemned the attack and said the whole nation wanted to see an end to extremism and terrorism in the country. She prayed for the early recovery of the interior minister and said, “We hope to see him back in the parliament soon.”

Azam Khan Swati also condemned the attack on the interior minister and said, “I hope Ahsan Iqbal would continue playing his role in strengthening democracy in Pakistan.”

Condemning the attack, Mian Raza Rabbani said that Ahsan Iqbal had played a key role in preparing the Charter of Democracy (CoD), inked between Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Meanwhile, Senators Mushtaq Ahmed and Anwaar-ul-Haq condemned the assassination attempt on the interior minister and said that such elements would not be allowed to disturb the law and order situation in the country.

Condemning the attack on the interior minister, Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini urged all political forces to assemble on a single platform to eliminate terrorism from the country.

On the occasion, Senator Sitara Ayaz said that the National Action Plan (NAP) should be implemented in its true letter and spirit. Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel said it was unfortunate that NAP had not been wholly implemented due to which the trend of violence was on the rise in the country.

On the other hand, condemning the assassination attempt on the interior minister, Senator Lieutenant General (r) Abdul Qayyum said the reasons behind the incident should be analysed in depth in order to formulate an effective strategy to counter extremism in Pakistan.

He said that some elements wanted to derail the democratic process in the country and it was important for politicians to set aside their political affiliations and work for the betterment of the country.

Similarly, Senator Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi also condemned the attack on Ahsan Iqbal and asked the workers of all political parties to play their role in uniting the nation.

Senators Rehman Malik and Muhammad Javed Abbasi vehemently condemned the attack and called for national unity against terrorism.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in the Senate unequivocally and unanimously condemned the bloody repression of citizens in Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) by Indian security forces and called upon the international community to end its silence and deliberate negligence of the systematic repression of Kashmiris at the hands of the Indian government.

The resolution in this regard was moved by Leader of the House in Senate Raja Muhammad Zafar-ul-Haq on behalf of the members.

Lawmakers also shared their concern on the high-handed tactics used by Indian security forces in occupied Kashmir, including forced disappearances of civilians, use of human shields, staged encounters, rapes, use of live ammunition and other barbaric means.

The resolution stated that Indian forces were murdering, maiming and injuring defenceless Kashmiris on a daily basis in IOK.

It acknowledged that the passion of the Kashmiri people still burned brightly in the face of a harsh Indian policy of using unrestrained force against unarmed and innocent Kashmiris.

The resolution reiterated that the government, elected representatives and the people of Pakistan would stand firmly with their Kashmiri brothers and sisters who were suffering extreme hardships under the illegal Indian occupation.

The resolution also suggested that Pakistan’s government should appoint a special envoy for Kashmir in accordance with earlier resolutions passed by the Senate in this connection.

The resolution pledged that Pakistan would continue its robust moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people until they achieved the right to self-determination promised to them under UN resolutions.