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October 30, 2020

Senate session: Govt slams PDM for ‘toeing’ Indian agenda of spreading anarchy


October 30, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government in the Senate Thursday slammed Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) for allegedly toeing the Indian agenda of spreading anarchy and ex-speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq was grilled for ‘turning Pakistan’s victory into a defeat by his statement on handing over captured pilot Abhinandan’ to India.

After the question-hour, Information and Broadcasting Minister Senator Shibli Faraz was on his feet to give a policy statement on senior PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq’s statement on the floor of the NA that the government handed over the Indian pilot, fearing Indian attack.

During the eventful and lengthy sitting, opposition senators criticised the prime minister, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister and other functionaries for not visiting the families of the victims of the seminary terrorist attack.

However, Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla, who was chairing the sitting, interrupted Shibli by asking was he giving a policy statement on some very important matter or speaking about the PDM, for which he could be given time after the orders on the agenda were exhausted and this led to seemingly unending arguments from both as well as the Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition.

When he was eventually given time, the minister said the PDM was supporting the enemy’s narrative and creating an air of confusion and uncertainty, whereas political stability was vital for peace and economic well-being.

Shibli noted that on February 27, the valiant Pakistan Air Force had downed an Indian fighter jet, being a matter of victory and pride but the statement given the other day, had made it controversial and there were celebrations in India over it. Pakistan, he said, wanted to show magnanimity to the world and decided to hand over the Indian pilot.

“There is a need to look into the background, when the PDM started their campaign from Gujranwala, afterwards Quaid-i-Azam’s mausoleum was disrespected and then chant of Azad Balochistan was echoed in Quetta, and then the Peshawar seminary attack happened. They have created anarchy, which serves the enemy’s interests. They have created this atmosphere in the country,” he asserted. To this, the chair said after investigation, it would be established, who was behind it, how could the minister blame anyone for this.

Their leader, he pointed out, who had looted the national assets and went abroad, were today talking against the country and its institutions and then such incidents would happen in the country, as the enemy was being given support through this narrative. “If the institutions will be weak, there will be confusion and anarchy, then more such terrorist hits will happen and this will weaken the state,” he noted.

The government, Shibli emphasised, wanted to strengthen the institutions so that such incidents did not occur and the opposition should not speak the language of the enemy, adding no such statements be given, which should give the impression, as if there was anarchy in the country. He contended that the opposition’s job was to differ and criticise the government and its policies but should desist from speaking the language of the enemy. “But they have become so blind that they are speaking against our heroes jut for their vested interests and the enemy is making fun of our air force pilots, who wrote a bright chapter in our history and they (opposition) made it controversial,” he said amid chants of shame by some treasury members. The minister charged they (opposition) had put the country’s security at stake and agreed with the PML-N that their leadership needed security, because they had to return the nation’s wealth, therefore, their security was necessary.

Members from both sides of the divide expressed their views on the seminary attack. JUI-F Senator Maulana Attuar Rehman, who is younger brother of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, said they should also be given opportunity to speak on the incident, which was the most important one to talk about.

He objected to the chair not allowing them to speak on the matter and asked would he suspend the procedure and rules, had there been an attack on the army camp or APS. He also reminded the chair that last Monday, the agenda was put aside for a debate on the island authority issue.

JUI-F legislator noted that even today, there was no security at the affected seminary and asked the government and other institutions concerned would there be another plot or an explosion to prevent the PDM from its planned public meeting in Peshawar.

“Whatever you want to do, do it, come what may, the PDM public meeting will be held. One day you will be answerable to the nation. If you will do politics, then you will have to be held answerable otherwise go and look after the borders,” he noted. PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan alleged there was no government at all, as if the country had been left on its own. He noted that neither prime minister, chief minister, nor his ministers paid a visit to the injured ones or condoled with the families of those martyred in the attack. “PTI is in government for the last eight years in the province, yet they did not reach out to the victims,” he regretted. He wondered, those, who gave information in advance to railways minister, could not take steps to prevent such incidents. At this moment, quorum issue was pointed out by the treasury side and the House was prorogued sine die after it lacked quorum even after bells were rung for some time.

Earlier, Senator Tahir Bizenjo said all should admit that the political system was rotten like stagnant water and lacked the capacity to fight terrorism and other challenges. He wondered why prime minister was not holding an APC on inflation and other challenges, as no single party could deal with them alone.

Senator Mohsin Aziz lamented the fact that those naming generals must remember the institution’s supreme sacrifices against the enemy and menace of terrorism, paying a massive price and even today some were lying in hospitals. “Destroying institutions is destroying the country. They should not be allowed to talk shamelessly against the institutions,” he asserted. Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Senator Sirajul Haq said why despite the report of the attack three days ago, security was not provided to the madrassa? He said the government was focused on fighting the opposition instead of dealing with threats.

He pointed out that the incident did not happen suddenly, the madrassa people were told about the attack three days ago, was it not the duty of the government to provide security to the madrassa and the mosque? He noted that the government was not serious in running the country, the prime minister, chief minister and local members of the National and provincial assemblies did not go there.

JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmad, who raised the matter at the very outset of the session, asked was it not a security lapse and that’s why KP IGP had given statement that they had neutralised the threat and the loss was minimal because of that. “You are playing a role of facilitator to the terrorists by not providing security to the seminaries and mosques,” he alleged.