ISLAMABAD - Less than two weeks when over 95 lawmakers had filed requisition seeking session of National Assembly to debate the petrol crisis, the house as required by law met on Monday to discuss a more lethal tragedy, the massacre at Imambargah in Shikarpur. The house that met within 14 days after the opposition sought debate on oil crisis, lawmakers perhaps did not know that something more tragic than petrol crisis would happen within two weeks that would trigger the house to suspend the agenda for which the lower house was convened.

Speaker Ayaz Sadiq whose ruling party was supposed to be grilled over the shortage of petrol in country, hastily endorsed suggestion of Opposition Leader Khurshid Shah who said the business of house should be suspended in order to discuss the terrorist attack on a Shia mosque last Friday that left over 61 dead and injuring dozens others. "It looks like we live between crises and tragedies. It is unfortunate that we learnt no lesson from Peshawar school tragedy. Where is National Action Plan (NAP)? Have we shared the grief with the victims of Shikarpur incident," Summon Sultana Jafri of MQM almost broke in tears.

But not all members looked so saddened over the latest terrorist attack. Khurshid Shah pointed out that some federal ministers were exchanging smile and were engaged in gossip complaining that the treasury benches should lend at least ear as he discussed Shikarpur tragedy.

But even then there was a reason for Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Federal Minister for Petroleum to who did not stop smiling because he got respite from the debate over the fuel crisis that had hit the country a week back.

Mr Abbasi indeed was bracing for a scathing criticism of lawmakers but Shikarpur tragedy that claimed 61 lives of worshippers saved the skin of the minister. "Shame on those who smile at a time when Shikarpur has been stained with blood. Remember we supported you when you were threatened by sit-in outside this house.

I ask as to why no government minister visited the families of those who lost lives to terrorist attack in Shikarpur? Mr Shah roared in the house.

And Mr Shah, whose party PPP rules Sindh, is responsible under 18th Amendment to ensure law and order in the province, skillfully absolved the provincial government of security lapses by putting the blame on federal government for not visiting the unfortunate district.

To his surprise, his party's leader and MNA Aftab Shahban Mirani who represents Shikarpur was found missing in the house when Mr Shah started his speech. But Mirani made it to the house later in the evening.

As the opposition was grilling the government in the lower house for the tragic incident in Shikarpur, Minister of State for Interior Balighur Rehman during his speech at Senate said that provincial government is wholly responsible for undertaking security measures. "Just like education, health and other sectors are managed by provinces, similarly security issue is purely a provincial subject," the minister explained to the upper house.

The lower house came up later with a resolution condemning the terrorist attack as is the usual practice although MNA Ijazul Haq wanted investigation into terrorists attacks on Shia mosques including the incident in Rawalpindi earlier in January. "How long will we just condemn the attacks? We must do something more than mere condemnation. Let there be an end to the killings," MNA JUI-F Ameer Zaman intervened although his party's Senator Haji Ghulam Ali was asking the government while speaking on floor of the upper house to refrain from taking action against religious seminaries in country.