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Event Title: Senate Standing Committee on Interior has strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand

Event Date: 2019-03-22

Senate Standing Committee on Interior has strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand wherein fifty innocent people were killed in a shooting and more than 40 were injured. The Committee also expressed great grief over the loss of human lives and expressed sympathies with the families of those who were martyred.

The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Abdur Rehman Malik here at the Parliament House on Friday and was attended among others by Senators Azam Khan Swati, Dr. Shahzad Wasim, Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Kalsoom Parveen and Momin Khan Afirdi. Additional Secretary Interior, Chief Commissioner ICT, Acting DG Civil Defence, Director Head Quarters Immigration and Passports, SP Investigation Abbottabad and DG ICT also attended the meeting.

Senator A. Rehman Malik said our hearts and soul are with people of New Zealand and victim families. He said that this Committee highly appreciates the concerted efforts of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in handling the situation after the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch. The committee termed her actions as equivalent to rewriting of world history and urged the national and international leaders to shun the use of term ‘Islamophobia’ as terrorism against any state or religion or peoples shouldn’t be associated with a religion. The committee noted that this incident and the response provided to it should serve as an eye opener to the Modi government and it should realign its treatment of Muslims.

SENATOR A. REHMAN MALIK PENS LETTER TO PM NEW ZEALAND ON THE BEHALF OF SENATE COMMITTEE: Senator A. Rehman Malik informed the Committee that he has written a letter to of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appreciating her exemplary role after the incident. He reads the letter before the committee which was endorsed by the committee unanimously and was approved to be sent to the PM New Zealand on the behalf of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior. He reads the letter as; “I on behalf of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior would like to express that we (Pakistanis) are saddened to learn about the tragic loss of lives in the Mosques at Christchurch, New Zealand. I would like to offer my deepest gratitude on your support to the families of martyrs in the incident of terrorism. You have demonstrated historical role by showing the solidarity towards the Muslim Community in your country. The Muslim Ummah in particular and entire world in general has appreciated your highly visionary steps to strengthen the interfaith harmony. This shows your historical leadership and deep association with the residents and people of your country. Pakistan has been suffering at the hands of terrorists through their various manifestations of terrorism and we have lost over 70,000 Pakistanis in the ‘War against Terrorism’. It is unfortunate that Islam with the teachings of peace and harmony is unfortunately paint ‘Islamophobia’ in negative sense  as terrorists with the intent to bring bad name. I therefore call upon you with the humble request that ‘Islamophobia’ may be discouraged by your Parliament. Islam is not the word to be moved with the adjectives. Once again I thank you on behalf of the People of Pakistan for your timely initiatives showing solidarity with the victims of the incident for such barbaric act the terrorist has committee. He must be given the severest punishment if you may graciously consider amending the law. I would like to extend you the invitation to visit Pakistan to meet the families of the victims of Christchurch. One of our proud Pakistani Dr. Ashraf Choudhary QSO JP; who is Former Member of New Zealand Parliament has played a great role in cementing the relations between New Zealand & Pakistan. I, therefore, would also like to invite him with your Excellency to visit Pakistan.”

Senator A. Rehman Malik said that on the behalf of this committee and the people of Pakistan he has invited the Prime Minister of New Zealand to visit Pakistan.

ACQUITTAL OF INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN SAMJHAUTA EXPRESS: The Committee expressed grave concerns over the acquittal of four individuals accused in the Samjhauta Express bombing case and directed the Interior Ministry to take up the matter of acquittal internationally in coordination with the Foreign Office.

Senator A. Rehman Malik said that by acquittal of those who were involved in Samjhauta Express, the real face of India is exposed before the world. He said that as former Interior Minister he knows that both “Samjhauta Express” and “Mumbai Attacks” and also Uri attack were a well-planned conspiracy hatched by RAW against Pakistan to bring bad name to the country. He said that Samjhauta Express and Mumbai attacks were engineered, conspired and executed by Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) against Pakistan and most recently it carried out the Pulwama attack. He said that Indian leadership is inhabit of levelling generic allegation without any investigation. He said that Samjhauta Express Attack was engineered, conspired and executed by Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) only to blame Pakistan for it before the international community. He said that DIG Mr. Hemant Karkkare had exposed RAW and RSS in Samjhauta Express before the Supreme Court of India but was killed by RAW. He said that family of DIG Mr. Hemant Karkkare is still waiting for justice from Indian Supreme Court. The Committee members were unanimous that all political parties and other stakeholders are on one page when it comes to our internal and external security.

RAPE & KILLING OF THREE YEARS OLD GIRL IN TEHSIL HAVELIAN, DISTRICT ABBOTTABAD: The Committee was briefed in detail about the incident of rape and killing of a three year old girl in Havelian, Abbottabad. SP Investigation Abbottabad told the Committee that more than 800 DNA samples have been taken so far from the area including details of everyone who visited the area in any connection on that day. It was stated that there is reluctance from the parents due to societal issues and the police is trying to get to the culprits. Chairman Senator A. Rehman Malik directed the Police Department to come up with concrete progress into the case within three weeks otherwise it will recommend naming SHO and DSP in the FIR. He said that the killers and rapists of three years old girl must not go unpunished and said he will follow the case till its logical conclusion as this committee did in the case of Zainab who was killed after rape in Kasur. The Committee also recommended getting the video footage of the area of that day by taking it up with Google through provincial government. The Committee members called for a national database on such cases because many of such cases go unreported.

The briefing on Immigration and Passports Office was deferred due to absence of Director General. The Committee expressed strong displeasure at his absence and warned of strict action if he doesn’t come to next meeting.

BRIEFING BY D.G. CIVIL DEFENCE ON ITS ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND ITS WORKING: The Committee was given a detailed briefing on the Civil Defence system in the country and its achievements. The Committee members were of the view that there is need to strengthen and empower this neglected department. Senator A. Rehman Malik said that Civil Defence in modern times is very essential for a civilized society as the Civil Defence is always ready for the protection of any person, property, place or thing during any hostile attack. He said we are in state of war and the Civil Defence should be part of National Action Plan (NAP) that it can be strengthened. He said that during the peace times humanity also faces other most dangerous calamities whether these are man-made or natural. He said that he was shocked to know that the budget for Civil Defence is mere 25 crore for the whole country which is equal to none. He said the Civil Defence is the most ignored department of our country which needs to be empowered. Committee directed the Civil Defense Directorate to come up with the proposals for revival and strengthening of the department. Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik constituted a sub-committee with members Senator Dr. Shahzad Wasim, Senator Kalsoom Parveen and Senator Muhammad Ateeq Sheikh to propose a draft of law and work with Civil Defence Director for the proposal for its effectiveness and strength.  The Committee proposed that a draft law should be made in consultation with all the relevant departments with specific focus on training, community development and local bodies’ involvement. Committee directed the Interior Ministry to manage the DG Civil Defense to visit Turkey to study the Civil Defense System there to bring positive changes to the system here. Chairman Committee Abdur Rehman noted that the budget of Civil Defence needs to be increased and the volunteers should also have some form of stipend.