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June 20, 2021

Parties should end bitterness for electoral reforms: Sh Rashid

ISLAMABAD: The budget debate in the National Assembly continued on Saturday with the treasury benches praising the budget while the opposition dubbing it a pack of lies and based on broken promises.

The PPP legislator Abdul Qadir Patel demanded the Speaker to take notice of censoring the budget speech of the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on state-run TV.

Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed urged to end the bitterness in politics with urging all political parties to sit together for electoral reforms.

The PTI legislator Saima Nadeem raised the placard of pictures of malnutrition children of Thar. However, Presiding Chairman Amjad Khan Niazi stopped her from waiving the placards saying that rules did not allow to waving the placards in the National Assembly.

The budget debate that continued for more than eight hours on off day aimed to cover three days which were wasted due to unprecedented ruckus in the National Assembly during the speech of Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Shari who completed his speech on fourth day following repeated disruption in his speech.

Shaikh Rashid in his speech urged all political parties to sit together for electoral reforms while keeping their bitterness aside. “If we did not ended the bitterness then the future election would be like of Trump and Joe Biden,” he said, adding that such election, no matter how much transparent, would remain controversial.

Shaikh Rashid said the political parties should also discuss the regional security situation. He said 88 percent work on the fencing of the border with Afghanistan has been completed whilst the remaining work will be completed soon.

The minister said every government goes to IMF. He said for the first time overseas Pakistanis have sent over $19 billion otherwise we were on brink of default.

About his ministry, Sheikh Rashid said we are introducing e-passports whilst online visas are now being issued. He said Nadra offices will be established at every tehsil headquarters to facilitate the people.

The PML-N legislator Khurram Dastgir questioned that funding of Rs400 billion has already been mentioned in the budget documents despite the agreement with the IMF still has not been finalised. He said the PTI government has borrowed over Rs15,000 billion and should tell the nation what development they did with this amount. “Whether you built any dams with borrowed money,” he asked.

Khurram Dastgir said the government was getting the corona vaccine through charity and now vaccine is in shortage in many parts of the country.

Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Sheharyar Khan Afridi urged the opposition parties not to misuse Kashmir dispute for their petty personal and political objectives.

He said that the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) has requested the Pakistani political parties not to use Kashmir cause for petty political gains as it breaks the hearts and resolve of millions of Kashmiris fighting to free Jammu and Kashmir from illegal Indian occupation.

He said that due to the wise strategy adopted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan was swiftly defeating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Raja Khurram Nawaz of the PTI appreciated the government’s finance team for presenting a pro-people budget amidst the difficult situation posed by COVID-19. He said relief has been given to different sectors including the farmers and the industrialists in the budget.

Nawabzada Iftikhar Ahmed Khan Babar of the PPP demanded the government to establish a university in Muzaffargarh district.

Shaheen Naz Saifullah said Prime Minister Imran Khan is an honest person who has raised a strong voice against corruption. She commended the steps being taken for the promotion of tourism.

Sajid Mehdi said research should be promoted and subsidies be given to the farmers on fertilisers to bolster agriculture productivity.

Rukhsana Naveed said the PTI government is making sincere efforts to uplift the economy and improve the country’s image.

Khurshid Ahmad Junejo of the PPP said the budget provides no relief to the low-income groups but only to the affluent class.

Mehboob Shah appreciated the government for focusing on the development of backward areas. He regretted that these areas were neglected by previous governments.

Zahra Wadood said the PTI government has failed to fulfil its promises for construction of houses and provision of employment.

Moshin Dawar said the situation has gradually deteriorated in the last 74 years, not by any single party. He demanded the production order of detailed parliamentarians.