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Wednesday June 19, 2024

PTI blasts govt in Senate for sealing its secretariat

Shibli raised the issue and claimed that the government could not compete his party politically, so it resorted to cheap tactics and fascist acts

By Mumtaz Alvi
May 25, 2024
Leader of Opposition in Senate Shibli Faraz is addressing the Senate session on May 24, 2024. —Screengrab/YouTube/Senate of Pakistan
Leader of Opposition in Senate Shibli Faraz is addressing the Senate session on May 24, 2024. —Screengrab/YouTube/Senate of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the Senate Shibli Faraz Friday blasted the treasury benches for sealing the PTI Central Secretariat and said these actions were being taken ‘under their watch, as the law minister defended it, saying the CDA’s step was as per the rules and regulations.

On a point of public importance, Shibli raised the issue and claimed that the government could not compete his party politically, so it resorted to cheap tactics and fascist acts.

“They can snatch the symbol, break the office, raid the houses, jail Imran Khan and others but they cannot erase the name of PTI founder chairman Imran Khan from the hearts of majority of 250 million people,” he asserted.

He said fascism, oppression, violence that ‘you have begun is ongoing and this is all happening under your watch but the history is being recorded and those still silent on all this were showing their endorsement of what’s going on against us’.

Shibli contended that bad things were done during the darkness of night and same happened late last night, when the Islamabad police and CDA authorities forced their entry and demolished a part of the central office building and arrested the PTI people, including the party’s local chapter president Amir Mughal.

He condemned the action and demanded immediate release of all those arrested and remarked, “You cannot do politics by force and whatever oppression and tyranny you may do, it will be chronicled. It will be very upsetting when history will be written tomorrow”.

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar defended the CDA action and maintained that the civic authority’s action was in accordance with the law.

He explained that the first notice was given in 2020 and this was followed by multiple notices and reminders, while the last one was issued on May 10 in relation to two floors of the PTI Secretariat, built without the approval of map, illegally parking containers and building parking sheds which were encroachments.

After the last notice, he noted still they had time for remedy, including moving a court for stay but they did not avail it in the last 14 days.

Azam Tarar pointed out that it was the direction of the Senate standing committee on interior, headed by PTI Senator Mohsin Aziz, that the action be speed up against encroachments across the capital.

Noting that the last notice was sent on May 10, the law minister said the action on the PTI office was in accordance with the law, adding that he had talked to the CDA chairman about the matter.

About Shibli’s allegation that the law minister was targeting the judiciary, Tarar said he took exception to the remark and stood by what he had said, which was in accordance with the Constitution and the law that under the trichotomy of power, the three institutions should function and they should not encroach upon.

He emphasized that the judges were extremely honourable and they should speak and give their opinion through their writings and judgments.

Tarar reminded how the rivals were treated during the era of PTI regime from 2018 to 2022 and mentioned the scaling of walls of an ex-PM to arrest through commandos to prevent him from appearing for his petition for bail. He indirectly mentioned the ordeal of Senator Irfan Siddiqui as well.

Responding to a calling attention notice by Senator Danesh Kumar about ‘power supply for only three hours per day to agriculture tube-wells in Balochistan, Federal Minister for Energy Awais Leghari said Balochistan’s agriculture sector had dues of Rs641 billion. He said there were 27,337 tube-wells in Balochistan, which were on 404 feeders. He said there 12,000 illegal transformers were as per conservative estimates running on them.

“Some 96 percent of these feeders are running in losses while a loss of Rs80 billion is incurred by power supply only for six hours, as bills are also not paid. We also know about the officials involved in overbilling and also teach electricity theft to consumers. My department does not have officials to establish the writ of law; it is the job of security forces,” he noted.

He said if it was assured that the electricity bills would be paid by the farmers, then electricity could be supplied 24 hours a day.

The minister said for solarization, as soon as the Balochistan government came up with a mechanism, the federal government will start implementing the initiative as per commitment.