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The Senate on Thursday began discussion on several important issues on the motion moved by Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan and others.

Initiating the debate on the first issue regarding the lynching of Mishal Khan and the rise in such incidents in the country, Farhatullah Babar said that the mob violence is increasingly becoming a routine in the society. He said the Parliament should play its role to prevent misuse of blasphemy law. He said some elements are suppressing expression of freedom in the name of religion which is regrettable.

Muhammad Azam Khan Swati said politicians, lawmakers, Ulema, lawyers and every segment of society will have to play their due role to change the extremist mindset and to present soft image of the Pakistan and Islam.

Sherry Rehman said growing intolerance is becoming a serious issue of our society. She said serious efforts should be made to check mob violence.

Rubina Khalid said that war against terrorism cannot be won without having a counter-narrative to check extremism in the country. She urged the Chairman to constitute a Committee of the Whole to evolve a counter-narrative.

Maulana Atta-ur-Rehman said no one should be allowed to take law into hands. He said his party expresses complete sympathy with Mishal Khan. He said implementation of law in letter and spirit is the way forward to prevent such incidents. He said it will be inappropriate to talk about changing the blasphemy law on the basis of these incidents.

Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said it will become difficult to live in a society if growing religious intolerance is not stopped. He requested all the political parties and Ulema to join hands in checking this menace from the society.

Nihal Hashmi said Blasphemy Law prevents people from taking law in hands as the state is there to check any blasphemous act. He urged Ulema to give true message of Islam. Similarly, the liberal elements should also try better understanding of religion instead of criticizing it. 

Mir Kabir said that it is an important issue which should be discussed in the Committee of Whole of the Upper House or the matter should be debated by convening All Parties Conference.

Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar said University administration is mainly responsible for lynching of Mishal Khan. He urged political parties, religious leaders and media organizations to come forward in curbing extremist mindset from the Pakistani society. He proposed that Mishal Khan's father should be given an award for demonstrating decency and courage even on the death of his son, Department of Mass Communication of the Abdul Wali Khan University should be named after Mishal Khan and his case should be tried speedily. 

Shahi Syed said some people are doing politics on the issue of Mishal Khan which is regrettable. He said action should be taken against the culprits, irrespective of their political affiliation.

Chaudhary Tanvir Khan said extremist elements are defaming Islam by promoting intolerance. He stressed the need for changing individuals' mindset to prevent such incidents. He said a detailed report from the provincial government should be sought over Mishal Khan's lynching and culprits behind this barbaric incident should be taken to the task.

Leader of the Opposition Aitzaz Ahsan said strict action should be taken against those responsible for lynching of Mishal Khan. He said all the people, after identifying in the lynching video available, should not be given any clemency and everyone should be tried according to the law. He said Mishal Khan lynching case should be tried in a military court for misuse of religion. He also urged Chairman Senate to form a Committee of the Whole to have detailed discussion with leading Ulema, lawyers, media persons and other important figures on the issue of extremist mindset so that a unanimous view to address the issue could be sought. 

Winding up discussion, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad said that lynching of a student at University is a terrible incident which has shaken the entire world. He said the provincial government is extensively investigating the matter and the police have so far arrested 47 people. He assured the House that the government will take every step to protect lives and properties of the citizens.

Among others who spoke on the topic include Hafiz Hamdullah, Taj Haider, Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel, Nauman Wazir Khattak, Aurangzeb Khan, Muhammad Ali Saif and Saleem Zia.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said that according to the rules no political party can hold press conference at Press Information Department.

She was responding to a motion regarding physical blocking of leaders of a political party from holding of Press Conference at PID.

She said only Ministers, Secretaries and such officers authorized by government shall act as official spokesperson while conducting press conferences at PID.

The House will now meet tomorrow morning at ten.


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