Omar Ayub wants corps, formation commanders’ conference on China concerns

Omar Ayub called upon General Asim Munir to immediately convene conference of corps commanders to discuss what he called intelligence failures in preventing acts of terrorism

By Our Correspondent
June 23, 2024
NA Opposition Leader Omar Ayub talking to the media on March 7, 2024. — Screengrab/Facebook/Geo News

ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Omar Ayub Khan Saturday called upon Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir to immediately convene a conference of corps commanders and formation commanders to discuss what he called intelligence failures in preventing acts of terrorism.


Speaking on a point of order in the National Assembly, Omar referred to a statement of Liu Jianchao, Minister of International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC), who, while talking about CPEC, called for internal stability in Pakistan the other day. Omar said it was a matter of grave concern that Pakistan’s friend was asking the government to put its house in order and ensure fool-proof security. Otherwise, CPEC and other projects would be in danger. “I call upon chief of army staff and formation commanders to convene a conference to track down intelligence failure,” he said.

During his speech, he also talked about martyrdom of five soldiers in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in the Kurram district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Friday.

Omar Ayub pointed out that three elements, including national cohesion, credible defence and economic stability, were must for internal stability. “At present, there is no national cohesion, while credible defence is linked with economic stability, which is in tatters,” he said adding that the country was under a threat.

He said the opposition had demanded disclosure of budget for the intelligence agencies, particularly that of ISI, so that they could come to know whether their budget was being spent on Vigo vehicles to chase opposition politicians or Hamid Mir and other journalists. He alleged that officials of intelligence agencies remain present in Adiala to monitor activities of the PTI founder there, adding that instead they should pay attention to their “intelligence failures”.

Referring to a news published in The News by Ansar Abbasi, the PTI leader said that during four years of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, NAB recovered Rs426 billion, while Rs295 billion were recovered in the previous 17 years. “Recoveries during the PTI government were bound to reach the figure of Rs1,100 billion,” he said adding that Nawaz Sharif, Asif Zardari, Hussain Nawaz and others were beneficiaries of amendments to the NAB laws by the PDM government.

Responding to concerns of the opposition leader, Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said he was present at the function attended by the Chinese minister. “Things were not so sensationalized as being projected and what he talked about was different,” the speaker added.

Meanwhile, parliamentarians from the opposition and treasury benches Saturday demanded the government revisit terms and conditions of agreements signed with the IPPs [independent power producers] in order to control the ever-rising circular debt and reduce electricity tariff.

Former speaker Asad Qaisar and Mirza Ikhtiar Baig of PPP in their budget speeches said it was high time the government renegotiated terms and conditions of agreements with the IPPs.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly, through a motion, suspended the membership of PTI-backed MNA Sanaullah Khan Mastikhel for the remaining budget session for expressing highly objectionable and indecent remarks during his budget speech on the floor of the house.

“Sanaullah Mastikhel, during his budget speech, used highly objectionable and indecent remarks, thereby eroding sanctity of the House in violation of Rule 30 of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, disregarding the authority of the chair and abusing the rules by willfully disrupting and obstructing the proceedings,” a motion read by the speaker said.

The speaker, soon after announcing the suspension of Sanaullah Mastikhel, adjourned proceedings of the House till Sunday morning. Action taken by the chair, however, invited protest from the opposition benches and the chair had to give a break in proceedings of the House.

MQM’s Mustafa Kamal called upon the government to pay attention to development of Karachi, which was generating 68 per cent of the country’s total revenue.

PPP MNA Abdul Qadir Patel took a strong exception to a remark of a Lahore High Court judge that Qadianis were a sect of Muslims. He said it was the unanimous decision of this House when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the prime minister that Qadianis were non-Muslims.

Hameed Hussain of the PTI-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) said that people of formerly FATA districts were searching for peace, education and health for their people and not war or any operation. He demanded 10-year exemption from income tax for formerly FATA and PATA districts, as decided during the PTI government.

Former federal minister Sardar Muhammad Yousaf complained of injustices being meted out to the opposition in the KP province. He said there was electricity crisis in KP while the provincial chief executive was taking the law in his hands.

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal regretted the incident of mob lynching in Swat, which resulted in the killing of an accused, adding that it was not an isolated incident. He said the House should take notice of the incident and constitute a special committee for framing a national plan of action aimed at ensuring the rule of law in the country.

Zartaj Gul, a PTI-backed member of the SIC, termed the federal budget horrible which, she said, lacked any planning or vision. Sharmila Farooqi of Pakistan Peoples Party criticised the government for not controlling the circular debt within Rs2.3 trillion benchmark, which had now reached Rs2.6 trillion. SIC MNA Shaharyar Afridi said the federal budget was aimed at dividing and humiliating the nation at external dictation. MQM’s MNA Hafeezuddin suggested the finance minister review increase in taxes on salaried class; otherwise, talented people in private sector would leave the country. Hanif Abbasi of PMLN said the budget had been presented in a very difficult situation.

Later, the National Assembly offered Fateha for five Pakistan Army soldiers, who were martyred in an IED blast in Kurram district of KP. Nasib Ali Shah led the Fateha.