Pakistan’s upper house of parliament has unanimously passed a resolution condemning the recent lynching of Sri Lankan national factory manager, Priyantha Kumara, in Sialkot by a mob accusing him of committing blasphemy.
Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani said he would send a delegation of senators to Sri Lanka to personally hand over the copy of this resolution to the family of Kumara and express condolences with them.
During the proceedings, Finance Adviser Shaukat Tarin was sworn in as a senator.
The resolution, which was moved by Leader of the House Shahzad Waseem, read that the House condemned such acts of extremism and demanded that the government should take action against those involved in the lynching.
It added that religion had nothing to do with such incidents.
Waseem, Railways Minister Azam Swati and other treasury members stressed the need to fight extremism and it was their collective responsibility to spread tolerance among the people.
“Besides loss of lives, billions of rupees have been lost because of extremism,” Swati noted.
“Unfortunately, blasphemy has been interpreted by many people for their own benefit. We have to work together to thwart extremism,” he added.
PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui said the strategy of taking up arms against one terrorist and surrendering to another could not yield any positive results.
“The fact is that not only the government but the State also is helpless in the face of extremists,” he added.
“Terrorism is becoming stronger by untying the shackles of one terrorist and handcuffing the other.”
The opposition senator noted that talks were under way with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) now but nobody knew as to who was holding this dialogue.
Senator Azam Nazir Tarar, also of the PML-N, observed that intolerance was on the rise in Pakistani society, pointing out that the phenomenon did not exist in the country in the 1960 and 1970s.
He added that extremism was spread in society for the attainment of political goals during the tenure of General Ziaul Haq.
“What happened in Sialkot is the social indifference, which everyone has to fight against. There are many incidents in the past where punishments were meted out and later the culprits were acquitted.”
The leader of the house said the senators were feeling pain and remorse for the injustice meted out to Kumara.
Waseem added that amid the brutality in Sialkot, Malik Adnan, the colleague who had tried to save the Sri Lankan’s life, had become the representative of the majority of the country. “The era of extremism can be seen from the Ziaul Haq era.”
Senator Raza Rabbani of the PPP maintained that the State meant the civil and military bureaucracy of the country.
He added that from 1974 until today, the State had supported jihadist parties.
“Where does Pakistan stand now to advance this political agenda?”
Commenting on the adjournment motion, Senator Allama Sajid Mir said the Sialkot incident had brought disgrace to the country and Islam.
“The behaviour of the Sri Lankan government was courteous even when its cricket team was attacked in our country.”
Source: The Express Tribune