Walkout in Senate over Nisar’s comments on sectarianism

Walkout in Senate over Nisar’s comments on sectarianism

ISLAMABAD: The Senate witnessed a walkout on Tuesday after the opposition took exception to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s remarks about the classification of banned organisations.

Nisar was responding to the objections in the Upper House over his meeting with delegation belonging to a banned outfit.

He said that outlawed sectarian organisations should not be equated with terrorist outfits. He also mentioned that sectarian violence was an unfortunate reality that had been continuing for 1,300 years.

Nisar went further by making a distinction between organisations that were purely terrorists and those that had clashes on sectarian lines, adding that the latter had been allowed to contest elections during the previous government.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi retorted, pointing out that the head of the sectarian group in question was responsible for a significant amount of violence perpetrated in the country. Mashhadi subsequently led the walkout against the interior minister.

He later expressed his surprise at Nisar’s remarks, saying that some sectarian groups were more dangerous and cruel than the Taliban. He also accused the current government of promoting sectarianism, adding that these groups should equally be considered as terrorists.