ISLAMABAD: Opposition members in Senate on Friday moved a privilege motion against Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan demanding of the government to withdraw the answer he had submitted regarding the killings in terrorist attacks in the country.
However, the opposition withdrew the demand for apology from the minister.
The decision to move the privilege motion signed by 25 senators was announced by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani during a press conference outside parliament.
Rabbani said the motion believes the terrorism-related figures earlier provided by Nisar in the Upper House were incorrect and should be withdrawn. He said it is a democratic right of the senators to make such demand.
Raza Rabbani said the Senate had been made hostage, adding that it was a unanimous decision of the opposition as around 25 senators signed the motion.
Rabbani said interior minister’s ‘incorrect’ reply was an insult to parliament. Referring to proposed peace talks with Taliban, he said:
“We have not been taken into confidence on the issue and the peace talks with Taliban,” Rebbani said.
The row between the government and opposition has intensified in Senate over the statistics provided by Chaudhry Nisar on terrorism.
The opposition termed the statistics incorrect regarding deaths in terrorism related incidents and asked the interior minister to withdraw his statement; however, the latter refused to do so.
Following this, the opposition benches not only boycotted the Senate proceedings but also submitted the privilege motion.
Earlier, on October 30, the interior minister said that courts had sentenced 13,223 people to death since 2002, but only 501 of them had been executed. He said 10,910 death penalties had been announced in Lahore, 1,301 in Peshawar, 541 in Karachi, 449 in Quetta and 22 in Gilgit-Baltistan. Of the 501 executions, 415 were carried out in Lahore, 64 in Peshawar, 15 in Quetta and seven in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The same day, the opposition had staged two walkouts when Nisar refused to withdraw his reply to a question about the number of deaths in terrorism-related incidents which it believed was based on incorrect information. The opposition demanded that Nisar should issue an apology over presenting wrong statistics.
A consultative meeting of joint opposition parties, headed by Leader of the Opposition in Senate Aitzaz Ahsan, was held in the House today. During the meeting, the opposition members decided to move a privilege motion against the interior minister and the relevant draft was prepared and signed by all the members present.
It was also decided that the opposition would continue its boycott of Senate sessions.
Separately, a meeting of the Senate, headed by Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq, was held at the Parliament House. During the meeting, Senators considered responses to deal with possible strategies that may be employed by the opposition. It was moreover decided that they would try to pacify angry opposition members.