Senators walk out over girl’s murder

By Mumtaz Alvi

ISLAMABAD: Opposition legislators, joined by some treasury colleagues, stormed out of the Senate on Monday against the bone-chilling murder of a young girl in Sindh.

They also agitated holding of a husband and wife captive at a police station all night, a police officer quizzing them after drinking alcohol, and also burning of a spouse by her husband and in-laws in Lahore.

“We are walking out of the House to protest against the barbaric treatment being meted out to womenfolk. For how long will this continue,” questioned Bibi Yasmeen Shah of the PML-Q while leading the token walkout, followed by other opposition senators. ANP’s Haji Muhammad Adeel, Azam Swati and Liaquat Ali Bangulzai also made exit, as the House resumed after the two-day break 55 minutes behind schedule. Yet again, no reason was given for the delay.

Leader of the House Mian Raza Rabbani informed the house that Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah learnt about the brutal killing of a young girl in Khairpur from a report in The News. The CM also hails from the same district.

Rabbani said he had talked to Qaim Ali Shah on Monday morning on the issue. ìI will inform the house as the fact would surface, he said, adding it were felt necessary, Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik would give a statement on the floor of the Senate. He said the government was committed to safeguarding women’s rights and would do whatever possible to ensure this.

Opposition senators agitated why the chief minister was coming to Islamabad, saying he should have stayed back in his own district to probe the tragic incident. Some lady senators wanted formation of a Senate committee to look into the incident, but Chairman Senate Muhammadmian Soomro proposed they should first wait for the report to be presented by the leader of the house on Tuesday.

PML-Q’s Seemin Siddiqui raised the issue, immediately after the house unanimously adopted a condemnation resolution against the US drone attack. She made mention of the Solangi tribe Jirga, which declared the 17-year-old girl Kari and then she was put to exceedingly painful death. “What is happening in the district of the chief minister,” she questioned. ANP Senator Haji Adeel saw no utility in the government assurances on the issue and said that the perpetrators had never been punished in the past.

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