ISLAMABAD - The government on Monday skipped answer of a question in the Senate when an Opposition member demanded that it should clarify whether Jamaat-ud-Dawa had been declared a banned organisation or not.

The demand came in the Senate from ANP lawmaker Zahid Khan who said that the  government should make public the names of all the banned organisations.

He especially stressed that the government should clarify whether JuD had been banned or not as its chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was openly having meetings with people of political parties.

He gave reference to a recent meeting of some Jamaat-e-Islami members with Hafiz Saeed. He made this demand while speaking on a motion, moved by Senator Farhatullah Babar of PPP, that demanded discussion on National Internal Security Policy (NISP) announced by the government last year.

The government is silent from the past some week over some conflicting media reports and on going debate in the media whether JuD had been banned or not, he said.

State Minister of Interior Baleegur Rehman answered in detail about the

objections of the Opposition benches on the government efforts to end terrorism in the country but remained silent on the question of banning JuD.

It was a busy day in the Senate on a private member’s day as most of the items present on agenda were disposed of.

Zahid Khan said that the bases of most of the banned organisations including Jash-e-Muhammad and Lashker-e-Taiba were in Punjab and the provincial government claimed that none of madrasah there was getting foreign funding.

“Whom you are deceiving,” he said.

He said that the government was not clear in its directions and despite many steps taken by it recently including announcement of NISP and NAP and passage of 21st Constitutional Amendment; the results did not appear to be fruitful. “Whether the government wants to clear its direction or not,” he questioned.

Kamal Ali Agha of PML-Q went a step ahead while criticising the government and said that it was announced to establish military courts but their presence was not anywhere. “Where is NACTA, where is Rapid Response Force and a proposed Joint Intelligence Directorate,” he said ,adding, that nothing was visible any where.

He said that not a single point of NAP was implemented. He said that government officials were busy in meeting with the activists of banned organisations and no action was ever taken.

He also criticised JUI-F for its stance against military courts and said it should either leave the government or PM should expel it from the coalition of the government.

Haji Ghulam Ali of JUI-F said that the rulers had dual standards as the foreign funding of madrassahs was being criticised but nobody was pointing fingers towards the foreign funding of NGOs.

Earlier, PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said that NISP announced early last year was seriously flawed that failed to acknowledge that internal security policy is driven by a nation’s external security policy and that was why it was a non- starter and the government itself did not believe in it.

The NISP unrealistically promised to reform 23, 000 madrassahs in just one year, complete a host of legal reforms in six months and bring all 33 intelligence agencies under one roof but nothing had been done, even it was not brought before the Parliament despite persistent demands, he said.

“Re-incarnation of the banned outfit LeT re-emerge as JuD as a humanitarian organisation, the emergence of Maulana Masood Azhar of the banned Jaish-e- Muhammad and the public declaration by Asmatulah Muawiya to direct his guns at Afghanistan without being challenged by the state demonstrate that we still cherish dubious external security goals, “ he said ,adding, that pursuit of such external security objectives cannot help advance the cause of our internal security policy objectives.

Baleeg ur Rehman in his detailed answer said that different steps had been taken to end terrorism in the country after December 16 incident of Peshawar.

He gave credit to the government to announce NISP and NAP what he said that previous governments failed to do so. He said that Operation Zarb-e-Azb was started under the guidelines of NISP.

“The capacity building of law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) is being enhanced under this is policy and all provinces have established their Counter-Terrorism Departments (CTDs) and high security prisons had been established in Punjab,” he said, He said that a Rapid Response Force in the federal capital was already working.  He termed it government’s success for passing Protection of Pakistan Act (PoPA), ATA (Amendment) Bill and 21st Constitutional Amendment Bill.

He said that the intelligence sharing mechanism had been improved and the Ministry of Interior had recently shared 74 threat alerts and 46 information reports with the provinces. The government has started re-verification of SIMS and 16.3 million SIMSs had been re-verified through biometric system, he said.

He said that a Joint Intelligence Directorate and Internal Security Division had been established.

Nawabzada Saifullah Magsi speaking on his motion on the devising a mechanism of promotions in the civil service said that there should be performance-based promotions in civil bureaucracy.

Farhatullah Babar said that major issue was that the successive governments had been appointing non-cadre officers on the cadre posts and this was tantamount to demoralize the entire civil service. Giving example, he said the cadre post of DG of Military Lands and Cantonments which was a grade 21 post of the MLC cadre had been occupied for the past over 16 years by non-cadre officers.

Petroleum Ministry Shahid Khaqan Abbasi responding a motion of Haji Adeel out rightly rejected that ODGCL was being privatised, “Neither ODGCL is being privatised not there was any programme in the past,” he said.

He said that there was a programme to divest its 10 per cent shares but this was also postponed due to decreasing oil prices in the international market.

Dr Abdul Qayyum Somroo condemned the terrorism incident in Shikarpur and said such incident never happened in interior Sindh before.

He said that the PM should have visited the area what he said that the government did not feel the heat of the incident.

The chair referred the two bills, the Torture and Custodial Death (Punishment) Bill, 2014 and the Corporate Rehabilitation Bill, 2015 to the concerned Standing Committees.

The House also passed a unanimous resolution  recommending the government to take effective steps to end corruption in the country.