Thursday May 19, 2022

Reko Diq ‘treasure’ sold: Senator Bizenjo

January 05, 2022
Reko Diq ‘treasure’ sold: Senator Bizenjo

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Tuesday witnessed the allegation that the Reko Diq 'treasure' had been quietly sold to the world market.

National Party Senator Tahir Bizenjo, before expressing his views on the finance amendment bill, raised this matter in the House and said the entire Balochistan was agitating on this. He regretted that an international court had imposed US$6 billion penalty on Pakistan but none of those behind sabotaging this gold and copper treasure was punished by the government.

"This only could have happened during the East India Company, as this treasure could rid Pakistan of IMF and Balochistan of poverty but now Islamabad is worried how to pay this penalty. Why an in-camera briefing was given to the Balochistan Assembly by the attorney general. This matter needs to be discussed in this House, which has the mandate to safeguard the interests of the federating units,” he contended.

He said the Senate should be given an open briefing on the entire issue, being its legal and constitutional responsibility. "We have the information that this treasure has been sold in the world market," he said.

Responding to him, Balochistan Awami Party Senator Kauda Babar (a government ally) said that Senator Bizenjo’s party was invited to the in-camera briefing in the provincial assembly, but it stayed away and even now the Chief Minister Balochistan and the Balochistan Assembly were ready to give a briefing to his party leadership.

“What is the use of 18th Amendment, if we can’t handle our own provincial issues. We want our matters in our own hands,” he maintained. He said it was for the first time that an in-camera briefing was held on such an important issue.

To this, Senator Bizenjo responded that unfortunately, often such governments were imposed on the people of Balochistan whose members had their own personal interests ahead of provincial interests and hence they did not enjoy the confidence of people, insisting the Senate should have a debate and it should be given a briefing on the matter.

Leader of the House Senator Dr. Shahzad Waseem drew the House's attention towards an audio going viral on social media and being hotly discussed on several TV channels about 'conversation between PMLN leaders Maryam Nawaz and ex-information minister Pervaiz Rashid'. He charged the audio had exposed the so-called advocates of media freedom and freedom of expression, as to how they regulated and managed the media.

He asked in what capacity Maryam ran a media cell during the regime of then PM Nawaz Sharif from the PM House. “Their real face has been exposed again in the latest audio. Such conversation was held about journalists that cannot be repeated here. This is their mindset about the media and its freedom that journalists were being abused and that ads to such and such channel be stopped. Today, they are reaping what they had sown,” he noted. He also made mention of some earlier audio tapes as well, which according to him were used to insult the courts.

PMLN Senator Irfan Siddqui said the chair should issue a ruling whether or not anything on the social media could be raised and discussed here for point-scoring and disgracing and stigmatising anyone. He warned that if this trend was kicked off, then it would not stop.

The Senate passed four bills, which were moved for consideration and adoption by Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari. These included the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2021, The National Commission on the Rights of Child (Amendment) Bill, 2021, The Juvenile Justice System (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and The Islamabad Capital Territory Child Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2021.