Unfair to criticise Interior Ministry based on one incident, says government

"SC report slammed federal interior minister and Balochistan home minister for providing misleading information post-Quetta terror attack"

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Responding to the startling Supreme Court`s inquiry commission report on Quetta hospital blast, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb said that it is unfair to consider Interior ministry as a failed government department based on only on a one-off incident.

Speaking in Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath, she said that the Interior ministry would look into the report and its minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan would soon present his point of view on it.

She claimed that the terror incident has been brought down by 80% during the ongoing tenure of the incumbent government.

Meanwhile, Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti said that the report has pointed out certain areas for the government where it is currently lacking; however, he has certain reservations over the report which he would present before the Supreme Court.

Earlier, an inquiry commission under the Supreme Court has slammed the federal interior minister, and the Balochistan chief minister and home minister for providing misleading information following a deadly terrorist attack in Quetta which claimed 70 lives and injured as many as 112 people earlier this year.

Interior Ministry lacks a 'sense of ministerial responsibility’

In its detailed report on the incident, taking 56 days to finalise the 110-page report and making 18 recommendations, after thoroughly examining the concerned persons and obtaining responses from relevant ministries, departments and institutions, the Commission criticised the government and state apparatus for its "monumental failure to combat terrorism and perform basic protocols".

The commission also called for authorities to expedite the distribution of the amount earmarked by the Balochistan and Punjab government as compensation for the legal heirs of the deceased.

Action should be taken against those broadcasting statements by banned organisations and terrorists suggested the report.

In its findings, the report stated that the Federal Interior Ministry lacks a 'sense of ministerial responsibility'.

It requested that Anti-Terrorism Act should be implemented immediately and action was taken against proscribed organisations.

The report stated that both the federal and provincial governments are short-sighted and confused regarding the fight against terrorism, and lamented that the Balochistan government is directionless and plagued with nepotism.

"The [Interior] Ministry's National Security Internal Policy is not being implemented. The Officers of the Ministry appear more interested in serving the Minister than the people of Pakistan," said the inquiry report.

"Forensic tools are not being used to aid in tracing the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, and rudimentary methodologies to examine crime scenes, etcetera, have just not been developed or standardised," the report stated.

The report said that National Action Plan was not being implemented and its goals not being prioritised. It further asked the government to take action under ATA against gatherings held by proscribed organisations.

"Another monumental failure has been the lack in silencing extremist speech, literature, and propaganda. There has been a complete failure in producing and then disseminating a counter-narrative," mentioned the report.

"This country was created by those who wanted to ameliorate the condition of the Muslims of the subcontinent and to uphold the freedoms of those of every faith. The message of Unity, Faith, and Discipline was unfortunately sabotaged by hypocrites and extremists and needs to be rejected.

"The original motto needs to be reclaimed, and in doing so, we will come closer to ensuring that fundamental freedoms are safeguarded," stated Justice Qazi Faez Isa in his concluding remarks.