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July 15, 2020

Opposition seeks Wagah border reopening details

National

July 15, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) on Tuesday demanded of the government to disclose terms and conditions on which it decided to re-open trade with India through Wagah border.

Speaking on a point of order in the National Assembly, the PML-N parliamentary leader Khawaja Muhammad Asif asked the government to furnish details of re-start of trade with India on floor of the House.

The PML-N leader also questioned as to why the PTI government opted for Martyrs’ Day to announce starting trade with India saying it amounted to hurting feelings of Kashmiris. “It is historic day in the history of Kashmir on July 13 when 22 Muslims laid their lives while completing Azan,” he said. Khawaja Asif pointed that if there was any proposal for the trade with India, the same should have been brought into notice of the House.

He recalled that the countries remained involved in bilateral trade but as to why the PTI government opted for July 13 to make an announcement in this regard. “If it was done as part of Afghan transit trade and peace in Afghanistan, it should be delayed,” he said.

The PML-N member Marriyum Aurangzeb raised issue of removal of 450 employees of the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) her party colleague Murtaza Javed Abbasi through a calling attention notice demanded reopening of tourist spots with SOPs. “This is fascism that like a dictatorial government, you have terminated services of 450 PTDC employees in the darkness of night,” she said. She said on one hand the government was making claims of giving ten million jobs and on the other hand, it is removing government employees. “Prime minister cannot promote tourism by removing PTDC employees,” she said.

The chair immediately switched off mike of the opposition member as she referred to sugar crisis and persons responsible for the same.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan told the House that the National Tourism Board would meet on July 22, saying that the tourism sector in Galiyat, Swat and other tourist places was badly affected by the spread of COVID-19. He said the government would look into aspects of opening tourism activity with SOPs, saying there was need to provide relief to this sector and giving interest free loans to hotel industry.

Ali Muhammad Khan told the PML-N member that it was not the PTI government which over-staffed PIA and Pakistan Railways and played havoc with Pakistan Steel Mills.