Senate Standing Committee on Interior in its meeting on Monday was told by NACTA that the body has forwarded 12 threat alerts to the Federal and provincial interior ministries and other law enforcement agencies which include six alerts of heads of political parties by name and other alerts about senior leadership. These six people include Imran Khan, Asfand Yar Wali, Aftab Sherpao, Akram Khan Durrani, Ameer Haider Hoti, Talha Saeed, and other threats are about senior leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN).
The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator A. Rehman Malik here at the Parliament House on Monday and was attended by Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Secretary Interior, Additional Secretary Interior, DIG Security Islamabad Police, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, DIG South Karachi, Chairman NADRA, Acting DG Immigration and Passport among others. Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator A. Rehman Malik asked the Interior Ministry to ensure fool proof security in Islamabad Capital Territory and to write to the provincial home departments as well as IGPs to take cognizance of these serious threats and take measures as required.
The Committee took strong notice of the fact that Pakistan has been categorised in the Grey list by FATF and condemned the act by calling it a mischievous act of Indian lobby. Chairman Committee observed that Pakistan is the country that has given most sacrifices in war on terror and still the world is appeasing the India lobby.
Senator A. Rehman Malik moved a resolution which was passed by the Committee appreciating the role and commitment of Election Commission of Pakistan. The resolution was read as “The Senate Standing Committee on Interior appreciates the Election Commission of Pakistan for taking necessary measures to ensure the elections on time. The Committee hopes that the elections will be held fair, smooth and violence free. There have been some apprehensions about security; therefore the Committee resolves that the Secretary Interior should ensure fool proof arrangements for the voters, candidates, political leaders, Polling Stations and especially the heads of Political Parties on elections day i.e. 25th July, 2018”.
In his opening remarks, Senator A. Rehman Malik strongly condemned the decision of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of placing Pakistan in its grey list terming it biased and fully influenced by Indian propaganda against Pakistan. He said that Indian government is openly supporting and financing RSS- Indian terrorist organization involved in violence against Muslims in Indian Occupied Kashmir and other parts of the country yet India is not being included in such list and not being condemned by International rights organizations. He said that “the government must take adequate measures acceptable to the FATF so that the country could be removed from the grey list before its adverse impact.”
While discussing the matters of Immigration and Passport Office, the Committee expressed concerns on how the black list is being managed. The Chairman Committee recommended that in presence of the Exit Control List (ECL), the current black list should not be used for criminal cases; instead it should only pertain to offences related to passports. He said blacklist has no legal status and neither anyone should be included in blacklist on the desire or complaint of someone rather court order. The Committee also suggested changing the name of the list from black list to restrictive list and called for the administrative minister to be in-charge for deciding the cases of adding or removing names from the list instead of taking it before cabinet for every case. Senator A. Rehman Malik asked the interior ministry to formulate compact rules and criteria for placing anyone’s name on the ECL and black list, adding that it is the basic responsibility of concerned authority/department to inform the accused person before placing his name either on ECL or black list within the week. He said that it is the right of accused to have prior information before traveling so that one can avail the legal right to appeal. Senator A. Rehman Malik also directed the DG Immigration and Passport to provide the facility of printing passports for oversees Pakistanis in their respective country as oversees Pakistanis are backbone of the country’s economy and they should be facilitated maximum. Directed general Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was directed to submit a detailed report to the committee about the corruption cases in Immigration and Passport department. Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator A. Rehman Malik also gave directions that inter-departmental promotion quota may be increased that officers with good record could be promoted to higher grades i.e. 20 and 21.
The Committee was given detailed briefings by DIG South Karachi about pelting on procession of Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and by DIG Islamabad Police about the threat alert on NAB Headquarters and increased security arrangements in its wake. Senator A. Rehman Malik said that the committee is concerned about escalating threats to political leadership of the country and ensuring their security is the responsibility of Federal and Provincial governments. He said pelleting on Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s rally shows that there were serious security lapses which cannot be ignored in prevailing situation. He directed Ministry of Interior to share the security measures and plans with the committee it has taken for the security of heads of political parties, voters, candidates, polling vicinities and for the full proof protections of those politicians for whim security threat alerts have been issued. Committee expressed dissatisfaction over the Police report on the incident of pelting on Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s rally and directed the IG Police Sindh to submit a comprehensive report on the incident in the next meeting wherein a representative of PPP will also be attending the meeting.
Committee also discussed the incident of Cholistan wherein three little sisters aging 6, 8 and 11 were disappeared and found dead in desert. The parents of three sisters attended and briefed the meeting about the incident that had happened on 13th June and the committee had taken a serious notice of it. The Punjab Police representative couldn’t brief the committee as lacking the basic knowledge about the incident and knowing nothing about the death cause reported in the post-mortem. Chairman expressed great annoyance on the ignorance of Punjab Police directing Inspector General Police Punjab to ensure his presence in next meeting about full knowledge of the incident. Committee expressed sympathies with bereaved parents and ensured them committee’s full support. The parents told the committee that local police promptly answered to their call for help unlike reported in the media.