Members of the Senate on Monday lashed out at state authorities over their alleged failure to protect candidates and the public ahead of the July 25 elections, while taking aim at policies they said have “allowed” extremist ideologies to permeate society.
After the discussions concluded, the upper house prorogued its regular proceedings in view of the Mastung terrorist attack, in which over 145 people were killed.
In a scathing speech, ex-chairman Senate and incumbent PPP Senator Raza Rabbani said the duty to protect citizens was the state’s while pointing out that the caretaker set-up was the existing state. He also regretted that while the country’s economy and visa policy had been discussed in the last three meetings of the National Security Committee, the subject of law and order was never made part of the conversation.
“The interim prime minister and military leadership must have been aware of the National Counter Terrorism Authority’s report that stated that leaders of all political parties face security threats,” he noted while wondering why the provinces were merely sent letters regarding the security situation. He also criticised the absence of the caretaker interior minister from the session, and wondered whether the law minister would instead answer the house’s questions regarding the Mastung attack.
“Will the interior minister again say that those who were attacked were not on the list of those facing security threats?” he wondered.
Rabbani also complained that while orders to arrest political workers were “being implemented swiftly”, there was silence on the Mastung incident. Referring to the participation of alleged members of banned outfits in the forthcoming elections, Rabbani said a new phenomenon was emerging on the model of the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal.