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October 30, 2018

Israeli airplanes ‘landing’ echoes in KP Assembly


October 30, 2018

PESHAWAR: The alleged landing of an Israeli airplane in Islamabad echoed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday as the opposition members sought government’s explanation on the issue that went viral on the social media.

Nighat Orakzai of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), on a point of order, said the issue of the landing of an Israeli aircraft went viral on the social and mainstream media and created unrest among the people.

She said Pakistanis were very sensitive to establishing relations with Israel as they considered the Zionist state the enemy of Muslims and, therefore, the government should clarify its position whether there was any plan to recognise Israel.

Speaker Mushtaq Ghani asked Nighat Orakzai whether she had any solid proof that the plane landed in Pakistan. He said the mainstream or social media alone could not be quoted for establishing such an allegation as it could be baseless propaganda. He said the matter pertained to the federal government which already clarified its position.

Inayatullah Khan of Jamaat-e-Islami said though it was a federal matter and the provincial government could not reply to it, the provincial assembly through a resolution can sensitise the federal government over the issue.

“It could be a feeler to check the public reaction. During General Pervez Musharraf’s rule the news of a meeting between Pakistani and Israeli foreign ministers in Turkey had been aired and published,” he recalled.

However, Law Minister Sultan Muhammad Khan said the federal information minister had already clarified the matter. He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had a clear policy and there was no plan to recognise Israel.

Speaker Mushtaq Ghani on a complaint about the absence of ministers and secretaries from the assembly directed that their daily attendance should be sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He said henceforth the attendance sheet of the PTI PMAs would be regularly sent to the party chief on daily basis during the assembly session and those who were absent from the House would have to mention the reason for their absence.

Earlier in the question hour session, Khushdil Khan of the Awami National Party (ANP) sought the details of animal husbandries (veterinary institutions) in the province, particularly in his constituency PK-70 Peshawar and allocation of funds.

The lawmaker said he was not satisfied with the answer sent by the department. He had also sought details about funding and spending on watercourses and water storage for irrigation purposes in his constituency.

In reply to his questions, the law minister said the number of animal husbandries in the province was 120 and there were five in Peshawar. He asked the mover to sit with him and the department secretary if he was not satisfied with the details about both the sectors.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s Badshah Saleh hailing from Upper Dir and ANP’s Bahadur Khan from Lower Dir alleged that the Zakat funds in their districts were being used for political purposes.

The lawmakers alleged the funds were used against them in the general election. They demanded an inquiry into the misuse of the funds. The minister, as well as the speaker, announced that the matter will be probed

Zafar Azam and Mian Nisar Gul of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) sought details of oil and gas royalty for their Karak district and complained that the deputy commissioner was not providing the details.

Zafar Azam said the deputy commissioner should tell as to how much funds were provided to Karak from 2013 to 2018 on account of oil and gas royalty and where the money was spent.

Mian Nisar Gul said it should be known as to how much money had been spent on the judicial complex and Khushal Khan Khattak University in Karak. They also complained of discrimination in allocation of development funds to lawmakers.

Finance Minister Taimoor Salim Jhagra said Rs4-6 billion of the oil and gas royalty had been paid and Rs3-7 billion more would be released. He added that the royalty of the current year would also be released.

He said the royalty and tobacco cess would be spent in the districts where oil and gas deposits were present and where tobacco was grown. He pledged there would be no discrimination with anyone.Sardar Hussain Babak of ANP and Inayatullah Khan suggested that the ministers should not only ensure their presence but also come prepared to answer questions properly.

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