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November 8, 2018

PTI, PML-N leaders trade barbs in NA

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November 8, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Senior PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah on Wednesday said the opposition leader and party President Shahbaz Sharif was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) without any charges against him whereas the leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were not being touched.

Responding to a speech of Minister of State for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed in the National Assembly session, the PML-N parliamentarian said that Dr Babar Awan was facing NAB reference and Imran Khan, Abdul Aleem Khan, Pervaiz Khattak and other PTI leaders who were facing corruption charges were not arrested whereas Shahbaz Sharif was taken into custody without any charges against him.

He reminded the PTI minister that former the prime minister was disqualified not on corruption charges but for the fact that he did not withdraw salary which was receivable from his son. He went on to say there was only one certified thief in the country who was Jahangir Tareen. “He is the same person who managed fake mandate for you and bring elected members to Islamabad in his private plane making them join PTI.

Rana Sanaullah warned the PTI minister against levelling baseless allegations on PML-N leaders and calling them thieves otherwise the treasury would also get befitting response. “This is the 13th or 14th occasion that a minister stands up and starts giving non-serious statements,” he said and without naming Murad Saeed said, the PTI minister instead of defending his government’s policies starts leveling baseless allegations to cover up their inability to resolve issues.

The PML-N member said game of allegations from PTI does not stop, they would also tell stories of corruption of their leaders. “We will also talk about international agenda with which you came to power“, he said. Sanaullah recalled that Shahbaz Sharif filed a case against Imran Khan to claim damages of Rs10 billion for accusing him of offering Rs10 billion in return for not following Panama Papers case. “Imran is yet to appear in the court despite issuance time and again summons,” he said.

Minister of State for Communications Murad Saeed said everybody knew that 2013 general elections were rigged saying that re-elections were held in some constituencies when those were re-opened.

He questioned whether there were no cases against the PML-N leaders saying that he never named any leader when he talked about dacoits and thieves. Murad Saeed called for making a law for corrupt elements according to which they should be hanged at D Chowk.

Meanwhile, Abdul Qadar Patel of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) created controversy in the House when he said he did not support a resolution to condemn killing of Maulana Samiul Haq which was adopted by the Assembly unanimously on Tuesday. “I also wanted to speak that I did not want to support the same but did not get the opportunity,” he said adding as such resolution was not unanimous and he did not support the same for his own reasons.

Maulana Abdul Wasay of JUI-F regretted remarks of the PPP member saying that Maulana Samiul Haq was an ex-parliamentarian and leader of a democratic and religious party. He pointed out Ulema also played a role in creation of Pakistan and also made efforts to save Pakistan from breaking into two parts. “They were not religious leaders who raised slogan of ‘Udhar Tum Idhar Hum’,” he said.

Former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the JUI-F did not name founder of PPP Zulfikar Ali Bhutto but he (Abdul Wasay) was pointing to same personality. “I want to clarify that the slogan is wrongly attributed to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who gave Pakistan 1973 Constitution, started Pakistan’s nuclear programme and got 90000 Pakistani soldiers released from India,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Noorul Haq Qadri informed the House that policy regarding Haj 2019 would be devised in three months.

The Minister said the process for formulation of Haj policy and Plan 2019 had already been initiated. He said decision regarding Haj dues to be collected per Haji, will be taken after consultation with all the stakeholders including the designated airlines in due course of time and the House will be informed accordingly.

Responding to another question, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government were committed to develop Pakistan on the pattern of the State of Madina. The Minister said dialogue among various religious communities of Pakistan is vital for interfaith harmony in the country saying the government was also planning to organise an international interfaith harmony conference next year.

Minister of State for Housing and Works Shabbir Ali informed the House that the government was committed to provide housing facilities to the people under Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme.

He said initially this programme was launched in some districts of Pakistan as a pilot project, but it would be expanded to other districts in the next phase while the scheme would be expanded after due consultation.

ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda during proceedings of the National Assembly on Wednesday indulged in heated exchange of words on issue of water share for provinces.

The exchange of accusations from both sides began when responding to a calling attention notice on 1991 water accord, the Minister for Water Resources said the last Federal Government was involved in theft of water from share of Balochistan and Sindh. “The water was stolen on verbal orders from the then Federal Government,” he said adding that he also knew names of those thieves.

The Minister while speaking on calling attention notice, time and again mentioned that the last Federal Government was involved in shutting down telemeters which was meant to steal water from share of two provinces saying that was done on verbal orders from the then government in Islamabad. “The same government was also involved in loot and plunder in other institutions,” he said saying that it was unprecedented that a Federal Government issued verbal orders to steal water.

The calling attention notice was moved by Nawab Muhammad Yousuf Talpur, Naveed Qamar, Pir Noor Muhammad Shah Jeelani and other PPP parliamentarians which turned into heated exchange of remarks from the former Prime Minister and Minister for Water Resources. The PPP parliamentarians through the calling attention notice complained non provision of due share of water to Sindh according to 1991 Accord.

Faisal Vawda said it would be difficult to implement 1991 water accord till manual gauges are installed to measure water. He said changing of gauges is responsibility of the provincial government.

The Minister went on to stay that he had some reservations on the 18th amendment in the Constitution as his hands were tied due to it and he is unable on many issues.

Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while taking strong exception to allegations of the minister said a special committee of the House should be constituted to find the truth and it should finalise its report in one month time. At the same time, the allegations were very serious as the Minister accused that water was stolen for Punjab province.

In response, the Minister for Water Resources insisted that he accused the Federal Government and not the Punjab province of stealing water. He once again accused the then PML-N government of corrupt practices.

On that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said he would even call his (Faisal) father corrupt if he continues to use such language without any evidences and reason.

Abbasi said the Ministers have adopted a habit to level allegations on opposition leaders to cover up their own misdeeds and inability to address country’s issues and problems being faced by the country.

Faisal also regretted remarks from Shahid Khaqan Abbasi saying he very well knew as to how far the former Prime Minister was honest. “My father is not corrupt but a father (Nawaz Sharif) and his daughter have been convicted while his sons are absconders,” he said.

He said on papers, the 1991 water accord was being implemented but practically it was not being done.

He pointed out there was 58% leakage in water supply to Karachi mainly due to water stealing through illegal hydrant and use of other methods.

Nawab Yousuf Talpur and Shazia Marri wanted the Minister to give assurance that the 1991 water accord would be implemented in letter and spirit. They said that instead of implementation of 119 Accord, it was three-tier formula being put into practical.

The Minister assured the House that he would work shoulder to shoulder with the Sindh government to address water-related issues. Mir Khan Jamali proposed de-silting of two canals through which water is given to Balochistan province.