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July 9, 2020

Karachi power crisis, Hindu temple, pilots issues echo in NA

Top Story

July 9, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The issue of power crisis in Karachi echoed in National Assembly (NA) by members from both the side of Isle while government defended its handling of power.

Minister for Energy Omar Ayub while criticising the PPP and PML-N, said the government was working to overcome the power crisis of Karachi. “Why they have not solved this issue in their tenures,” he questioned from the PPP and PML-N.

Speaking on power issue Syed Naveed Qamar of the PPP said they condemned the attitude of the K-Electric with citizens of Karachi and the PPP stood with the people of Karachi.

While responding the points of order of the members from both, Omar Ayub said the power issues of Karachi was 15-year old. He said the agreement with K-electric was of provision of 190 MMFG of gas and the government was providing 290 MMFG gas to K-Electric and also 100MW electricity from national grid. He said the distribution system is too weak that could not sustain the heavy load of electricity. H said the cabinet decided to build two delivery point and 500 KV grid stations.

He said that members from the treasury bench, including, Federal Minister Ali Zaidi, were raising their voice over the clogging of sewers in Karachi and bringing it to the provincial government's attention. "This is the responsibility of the PPP to get them cleaned. Our allies from MQM-P and Fehmida Mirza of Grand Democratic Alliance have raised similar problems multiple times. COVID-19 medicines are being recovered from graveyards in Sindh. Why isn't the government taking action against it," he said. He urged the opposition to put aside politics and deliver to the people. While speaking on the issue, former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said that since the day KE had come into being, problems had begun. "This house is the representative of 220 million people. The people expect us to solve their problems."

PTI legislator Faheem Khan said that KE had become a "bully" and that action should be taken against the power utility. "The PPP made an agreement with them and people are being punished for it," he added.

While Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri Wednesday told the National Assembly that the issue is not of construction of temple for Hindus in Islamabad but the issue was that whether it could be built from public funds and now the matter has been referred to Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) to take a decision.

The issue of uploading of caricatures against the minorities on the social media was echoed in the NA as earlier parliamentary leader of the PML-N Khawaja Muhammad Asif raised this issue and said planned is being run on social media against minorities. The members from both the isle of the National Assembly condemned the act of caricatures on social media through points of orders. Responding to various points of order in the NA, Noorul Haq Qadri said that minorities are enjoying equal rights in the country under the Constitution of Pakistan. “The ideology of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Islamic values guarantee equal rights, complete safety and security of the minorities,” he said.

Minister for Religious Affairs said religious leaders and some political parties raised some concerns on construction of temple from the public funds so the matter has been referred to Council of Islamic Ideology with regard to building of the temple from the public funds. He said the minorities were enjoying the rights which were protected in the Constitution of Pakistan.

Giving the background of issue of construction of Hindu Temple, he said some minority members had contacted the government that the land was allotted for the temple and they are arranging the funds for its construction. “I told them that I had limited funds for renovating existing places of worship and referred the matter to the prime minister,” he said

Earlier parliamentary leader of the PML-N Khawaja Muhammad Asif “If the minorities feel that they are not safe here then it is shame for all of us as it is our responsibility to protect their places of worship.” He said Pakistan was tolerant society in decades of 70’s but it was after 80 when the things were changed. “There was Church in Boston where Muslims offered Friday prayers and even I offered Eid prayers there but it could not be imagine in Pakistan,” he said.

Minister for Human Right Dr Shireen Mazari and said that action would be taken on reports of caricature and present report in the house. “Our government strongly condemn act of making caricature and surely will take action on it,” she said,

The minister said Pakistan had also raised matter of sacrilegious caricatures against Muslim with European Union. “How can we allow this act in our country as it is our duty to protect the minorities” she said.

Syed Naveed Qamar said if the action was taken by the Pemra and other departments on political issues then why the action was not taken on such kind of caricatures on social media.

Maulana Akbar Chitrali supported the concerns for the protecting the rights of minorities. However, he raised concern about the construction of temple with public money, saying there is no example in the Islamic history for building a new temple or worship places for non-Muslims.

Meanwhile, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan Wednesday defended the decision of sacking the pilots with dubious licences told the NA, “We are in contact with them and will file suspension of authorisation for the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) by the European Union Air Safety Agency (EUASA) and UK’s authorities to operate in Europe for six months.” He was responding the calling attention notice of legislators belonging to PML-N Murtaza Javed Abbassi and others with regard to PIA’s flight suspension.

During the calling attention notice, the House witness the uproar when Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan accused the previous governments of PPP and PML-N for the mess of fake and dubious degrees of pilot.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan said suspension of PIAs' operation for European countries is temporary and flights will be restored soon. The minister said licences of 54 pilots have been cancelled, 26 grounded and 34 others suspended on ground of fake degrees and for not following the laid procedure.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan accused the opposition for recruiting the pilots with dubious and fake licences in last decade and said the government was cleaning their reek. “They should admit that 658 people were recruited on fake degrees during their tenure,” he said.

He said the probe against those Pakistan pilots who were working other international airlines was also being going on and out of 54 pilots who were with UAE airline 48 were cleared while 9 out of 11 were also cleared who were working Vietnam airline. He said it was not first time that the flight operation suspended as it was suspended also in 2008 then 2014 and 2016 on the safety concerns.

He said, “When we will clean the PIA then it would be beneficial for the PIA and good for its repute. He said those who patronise the fake and dubious licences, those who awarded and involved in awarding fake licences will be exposed and criminal cases will be made against them. “The PIA will be emerged once again a repute airline of the country,” he said. He claimed that the Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) was being revamped and restructured.

In the meanwhile, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari introduced the bill 'Domestic Violence Prevention and Protection Bill 2020' in the House.

Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Shaukat Ali laid COVID-19 Prevention of Hoarding Ordinance in the House.

Responding to a point of order in National Assembly, the Minister for Communications and Postal Services Murad Saeed said Pakistan Post has increased its revenue by Rs7 billion within a span of one year.