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National News
November 04,2015

Prevalence of spurious drugs disturbs senators

Shafiq Awan
ISLAMABAD: The Treasury and Opposition benches in Senate warned Tuesday against the increasing menace of spurious and substandard drugs and urged the government to take appropriate measures to curb this menace.
Contrary to general perception that parliamentarians avoid issues relating to public, Awami National Party’s (ANP) Senator Shahi Syed through an adjournment motion pointed out the spurious and substandard drugs issue which is causing serious threat to public health.
Former Federal Minister and PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan while expressing his views over the issue disclosed that he was victim of spurious drugs. He further revealed if capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, is not exempted from such drugs, the situation in remote areas could be far worse.
He urged the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to probe this issue through some special cell. Balochistan National Party’s (BNP) Dr Jehan Zeb Jamal Dini claimed he was also victim of spurious drugs in the federal capital. This is high time for Islamabad administration to check the supply of such drugs.
Senators Usman Kakar, Rubina Irfan, Javed Abbasi, Karim Khawaja and all other speakers agreed that spurious and substandard drugs were proliferating throughout the country.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Mian Atiq smelled a conspiracy against local industry by raising spurious and substandard drugs issue. But none of his fellows supported him.
Federal State Minister for Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar was busy in some other business and the chair asked the Abdul Qadir Baloch to respond to the motion.
Sensing the seriousness of the issue and mood of the House the minister did not oppose the motion.
Opposition staged a token walkout over unsatisfactory answer over the price of LNG from Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Khaqan’s point of view was that he could not disclose the price until some agreement is signed about it. But at the same time he did not mention the price of already imported 14 cargos of LNG which forced the Opposition to walk out.
Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani told the minister if the price is not secret then disclose it at the floor of the House. But Abbasi deferred it for next day and assured he would put the price of the imported cargo before the House.
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf‘s (PTI) Senator Azam Khan Swati through a call attention notice drew the attention of the federal finance minister to a particular bank that held foreign funds for twenty one days and did not release it after receiving it. He claimed he transferred certain foreign exchange from United States to the said bank but was denied to draw it. According to him the bank claimed legally it could hold these funds for 21 days. He apprehended such practice could affect the legal remittances. Federal Minister Khaqan Abbasi assured the House he would check it with State Bank and will update the House.
Senator Khalida Parveen through a Call Attention Notice raised the issue of committing suicide by a young girl in front of Saddar police station, Muzaffar Garh. It was disposed of by the chair as the mover was not in the House. The chair urged the senators on several occasions to prefer the House business but in vein.


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