Kalbhushan, Abhinandan issues: Govt, opposition trade conflicting claims

October 29, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Wednesday passed a government-sponsored resolution condemning speeches of leaders of Pakistan Democratic Movement in violation of Article 251 of the Constitution...

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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Wednesday passed a government-sponsored resolution condemning speeches of leaders of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in violation of Article 251 of the Constitution at a public meeting on another day of disorder which also witnessed expulsion of an opposition member, Agha Rafiullah, from the House for demonstrating disrespect to the chair.

Minister for Communication Murad Saeed, who moved the resolution, said the PDM leaders promoted the narrative of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his security adviser Ajit Doval at the public meeting. “You will continue to promote India’s narrative if you do not get NRO and I make it clear that these corrupt people will not get NRO,” Murad Saeed said.

The resolution said the House strongly condemns what was spoken against the Urdu language, raising slogans of “independent Balochistan” and desecration of shrine of Quaid-i-Azam in Karachi. He invited the opposition members to condemn the desecration of shrine of Quaid-i-Azam and “anti-Pakistan speeches” at a public meeting in Quetta.

“I curse those who talk about independent Balochistan and promote India’s narrative and Indian ideology,” Murad Saeed said. He also questioned as to what the fault of institutions was when a Qatari letter was produced in the House about looting of the national exchequer. He said a person declared as corrupt and liar has been hiding in London.

The minister regretted that the opposition attempted to play politics on the issue of blasphemous caricatures and bomb blast. In response, former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the PDM leaders were using their constitutional right by holding public meetings. He said the JUP leader Awais Noorani had already clarified that it was a slip of tongue at the public meeting.

The PPP leader said the PTI government declares opposition leaders as traitors and Indian agents whenever they raise public issues and problems being faced by the agriculture sector. Earlier, Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri ordered the PPP parliamentarian Agha Rafiullah to leave the House for showing disrespect to the chair.

Agha Rafiullah, after not getting the floor to seek some clarification with regard a question during the question hour, rushed in front of the deputy speaker’s dais and started speaking with loud voice while interrupting proceedings of the House. The deputy speaker directed sergeant-at-arms to take Agha Rafiullah out of the House, ruling that the opposition member would not be allowed to attend the whole session.

Qasim Suri also declined to accept an apology from Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, saying once Agha Rafiullah would have to leave the House and then he would be allowed to come back. Pervaiz Ashraf said that Agha Rafiullah was saying on oath that he did not use abusive language against the chair.

However, the deputy speaker allowed the opposition member to come back after the House on a motion moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, suspended an earlier ruling of the chair.

Akhtar Mengal of Balochistan National Party (BNP) said whosoever is responsible for breaching the Constitution, whether civilian or from military, should be tried under Article 6 of the Constitution. “The government should move a resolution in this connection and the opposition will support the same,” he said. He said the politicians talk comparatively less important clauses of the Constitution, but Article 6, which guarantees protection of the Constitution, is not talked about.

Mengal said nobody talked against the Urdu language at the public meeting, saying that regional and provincial languages should also be promoted. He alleged that it was Imran Khan who through a video-link testified in 2009 that Harbyar Marri, who talks about independent Balochistan, was innocent.

Responding to allegations of desecration of shrine of Quaid-i-Azam, the Baloch leader said that the Founder of Pakistan never dreamed of imposition of martial laws, creation of DHAs and launch of military operation in Balochistan.

Earlier, the opposition parties walked out of the House and one of their members, Shagufta Jumani, pointed out lack of quorum, causing suspension of proceedings for few minutes. "We cannot sit in the House where rules are not being followed," Syed Naveed Qamar said.

Meanwhile, senior PML-N parliamentarians on floor of the National Assembly gave details of meeting which decided release of Indian pilot Abhinandan, alleging that the government took decision under pressure.

“Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was present in the meeting which Imran Khan refused to attend,” former speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said. He said it was Shah Mehmood Qureshi who begged to opposition to let release Abhinandan, otherwise India would attack Pakistan at 9:00pm.

“India never attacked Pakistan, but the government handed over Abhinandan to Indian authorities,” he said. Ayaz Sadiq said it was not the opposition, but the PTI government which brought an ordinance to facilitate Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.

Earlier, Murad Saeed questioned as to why the government people were silent on issues relating to Kulbhushan and Abhinandan. Ali Muhammad Khan said Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and JUI-F leaders were also present at the meeting who supported release of the Indian pilot.

The PML-N Parliamentary Leader Khawaja Asif admitted that the PML-N and PPP also supported release of Abhinandan. Khawaja Asif said that General Bajwa gave a briefing to the meeting who expressed the hope that India would gave positive gesture to release of Abhinandan.

“You might have released Abhinandan to ease tensions between the two countries, but I want to ask as to what has been outcome of what you invested in relations of two countries,” he said.

Khawaja Asif alleged that the PTI government was following a policy of appeasing India. He said that history would not forgive the incumbent rulers for showing disloyalty with people of Kashmir and their names would be written with black words in history.

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