Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Foreign hands blamed for Kurram trouble

ISLAMABAD, June 9: Adviser to Prime Minister on Interior Rehman Malik said in the Senate on Monday that some foreign hands might be involved in the law and order situation in the Kurram Agency, Balochistan and some other parts of the country.

Mr Malik was replying to MQM Senator Abbas Kumaili’s criticism about government’s failure to maintain law and order in the Kurram Agency, particularly in Parachinar.

Mr Kumaili said that sectarian clashes in the agency had claimed hundreds of lives and forced thousands of people to move to other places, adding that all routes leading to and from the Agency were being blocked by militants for several months, creating a severe food and medicine shortage in the area.

He alleged that some foreign hands were involved in igniting sectarian clashes and target killings had been taking place in Parachinar and Dera Ismail Khan.

The adviser on interior said that efforts by his ministry to end clashes between Taliban militants and the Shia community in the Kurram agency had started bearing fruit.

He said the situation in Kurram and other parts of the country appeared to be the result of involvement of some foreign hands.

Mr Rehman said he had contacted all major political and religious leaders, including Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and some other lawmakers to restore normalcy in the agency.

He said several jirgas had been held and their members, who had quarrelled with each other during recent talks in Peshawar, had been taken to Abbottabad to continue their talks to resolve the crisis.

Earlier, lawmakers from both sides criticised law-enforcement agencies for cordoning off the Constitution Avenue which restricted their free movement.

Leader of the House Mian Raza Rabbani said that peaceful protest was the right of the people and the government would not obstruct the lawyers’ march.

PML-N’s Saadia Abbasi, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Prof Khurshid Ahmed and Prof Ibrahim and PML-Q’s Seemi Siddiqi and Begum Tahira Latif spoke against what they called humiliation of lawmakers and other people by security agencies when they entered the Parliament House.

They termed it a conspiracy against democracy by elements who wanted the democratic set-up to be wound up.Ms Nelofar Bakhtiar asked lawmakers to extend full cooperation to lawyers and members of civil society on their arrival at the Parliament House.

June 10, 2008

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