ISLAMABAD - The government on first day of 18th National Assembly session came under severe criticism by opposition parties for showing ‘apathy’ towards Shikarpur terrorist act as prime minister and federal ministers had not paid visit to the district despite being present in Karachi.

The government side, however, assuring full assistance and support of centre to all provinces cautioned about more attacks in reaction of activities being carried out under National Action Plan (NAP).

The house also unanimously passed a resolution condemning the suicide blast that killed over 60 people and left numerous injured in Shikarpur on 30 January. “The house stands in solidarity with the victims and bereaved families, vehemently denounce this and all other acts of terrorism,” said the resolution.

The government intensify its efforts in achieving the goals set in NAP in order to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from Pakistan, recommended the resolution moved by Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Pirzada.

The house summoned to debate petrol crisis in the country on a requisition moved by opposition parties, thoroughly discussed Shikarpur incident on the request floated by PPP- the main opposition party-, and suspended rest of the business.

Initiating the debate on Shikarpur terrorist attack, Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah strongly criticised federal government for not giving proper attention to the sad incident. “The prime minister and other key ministers were present in Sindh but not even a single federal minister paid visit to the place,” he said, considering it discrimination with the people of Sindh.

“What is the reason behind this dual standard,” he said, adding that the whole cabinet had gone to Peshawar after Army Public School attack but showed total indifference to Shikarpur tragedy. He said that people of Sindh felt the callousness of federal government when the incident of same magnitude occurred in Shikarpur.

Shah, during his speech, strongly criticised the ministers sitting on the front row who were busy in chit-chat. The house also resounded with the slogans of “shame, shame” over the ministers’ attitude. He further said the prime minister and his key ministers should visit Shikarpur and condoled with the victim families.

Responding to this severe criticism from opposition parties, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch warned about more attacks in reaction of National Action Plan being carried out in the country. “We condemned this expected attack. We need to be ready for other (such) attacks as NAP is badly affecting the terrorists,” he said, adding that centre was ready to assist and cooperate with Sindh.

He said this was the time to show unity by setting aside minor issues. “Point scoring would not serve main purpose as there is need to strengthen the intelligence network against the terrorists,” he said adding that law enforcement agencies were needed to be de-politicised.

Earlier, PML-F lawmaker Ghaus Bux Mehar also endorsed opposition leader over government’s non-seriousness and said that prime minister and federal ministers didn’t bother to visit the area to condole with the bereaved families. Aftab Shuban Mirani, on his turn, also criticised the government for not paying visit to the horrific incident in Shikarpur.

MQM lawmakers Sajid Ahmed and Saman Sultana Jaafri strongly condemned the Shikarpur incident, saying there was a need for making multi-pronged policy to deal with terrorism. “The mindset fanning the terrorism should be eliminated otherwise all the efforts will prove futile,” said Saman Sultana Jaafri, adding that still pamphlets were being distributed against Shia community in some areas of Karachi.

JUI-F’s Amir Zaman also criticised government over its attitude and remarked prime minister went to Karachi over the killing of one person but didn’t go to Shikarpur where over sixty people were killed in a terrorism act.

Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker Sahibzada Tariqullah said that judicial inquiry should be made into the incident. He also regretted that there was no show of unanimity on Shikarpur incident like Army Public School in Peshawar.

An independent lawmaker Jamshed Dasti, in his own fashion, floated a proposal about age limit for politicians. “Sindh CM is not able to handle the affairs of the province,” he said, adding that age limit for politicians should be introduced as there are many other capable persons in PPP to handle Sindh affairs. He said US brain was behind making TTP and in the same way she is introducing ‘Daesh’. “There is need to close US embassy,” he remarked.

Other lawmakers from opposition parties also strongly condemned the incident and criticised federal government for not paying heed to this incident. They were of the view that the prime minister and key ministers should visit the place.