ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman and ex-PM Imran Khan came under fire in the Senate on Tuesday for saying that "it would have been better to drop a nuclear bomb on Pakistan after he was ousted as prime minister".
He had made this unprecedented remark during his interaction with journalists on May 14 after having been shown the door.
Imran was also taken to task by PMLN Senator Nuzhat Sadiq for his “highly derogatory remarks” against PMLN Vice-President Maryam Nawaz and asked to tender an apology for speaking in such a manner, insisting that such tactics could not stop Maryam and other females from contributing to the country's betterment.
After the eventful Question-Hour was over, the treasury and opposition again locked horns on the country’s sorry state of affairs and the PTI’s planned Islamabad march and both sides accused each other of flouting the Constitution, the law and fundamental rights.
PPP’s Nisar Ahmad Khoro, who was administered oath as senator on Monday, called Imran the chief campaigner for General Pervez Musharraf’s referendum and castigated him for saying that if he was no more PM, a nuclear bomb might be dropped on Pakistan.
"This shows his arrogance that this country should not survive, if he is ousted as premier. My Bhutto was assassinated by the judiciary, Benazir Bhutto was also slain, Liaquat Ali Khan was killed 10-15 kms away from here in Rawalpindi, but we wanted Pakistan and never spoke against it,” he pointed out.
PTI Senator Shibli Faraz criticized the government action against PTI leaders and workers, terming it an act of fascism and added that a particular environment was being created deliberately, whereas his party had planned a peaceful programme. He grilled the JUIF for using religion for political gains and blasted JUIF Sindh President Rashid Soomro for using insulting remarks against the late mother of Imran Khan.
Opposition Leader Dr Shahzad Waseem clarified that they had resigned from the assembly as the attack on their government was launched from there and that they had respect for the institutions but not for turncoats.
National Party Senator Tahir Bizenjo rose to caution the government that the raids on PTI leaders and workers' homes would not benefit the government. “As the government ally, I request the prime minister to let the PTI exercise its constitutional and democratic rights and desist from repeating mistakes of these friends,” he said.
PPP Senator Yusuf Raza Gillani moved a motion on behalf of the Leader of the House, Azam Nazeer Tarar, and the opposition leader that in pursuance of a letter by the speaker National Assembly dated April 25, 2022 and keeping in view a motion already adopted by the National Assembly on April 16, 2022, the House under Rule 204 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012, may authorize the Senate chairman to make nominations to a parliamentary committee constituted to evaluate shortcomings of previous elections and make recommendations for electoral reforms to ensure that elections are held in a free, fair and transparent manner.
Meanwhile, the PPP and the PMLN on Tuesday joined hands in the Senate for the packing up of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), alleging that instead of combating corruption, it was indulging in corruption.
However, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, who is also the leader of the House, maintained that the parliament was empowered to wrap up the anti-corruption watchdog through legislation or amend it to make it effective.
The calls to pack up the NAB were made during the Question-Hour and PPP Senator Bahramand Tangi rose to point out that as per the latest report of the Transparency International, the ratio of corruption had increased in the country.
To this, Tarar contended that it was a legal and constitutional matter and explained the NAB amendment ordinance promulgated in haste would soon be coming to the parliament, adding that if the members deemed the NAB as a rogue institution, there would be a need for legislation while referring to Supreme Court of Pakistan observations regarding the bureau.
Senator Sadia Abbasi of the PML-N was on her feet to describe the NAB as a discredited institution and said the government should have the courage to abolish it.
In a written reply, the House was told that the NAB recovered over Rs560 billion from 2019 to 2021, whereas Rs323.29 billion had been recovered in 2020 and that in the light of zero tolerance policy towards corruption of the present government, the NAB was striving to eradicate corruption through its three-pronged strategy of awareness, prevention and enforcement.
At the very outset, PTI senators stormed out of the House to protest what they alleged the worst kind of state terrorism, after slamming the government for a crackdown on their workers and leaders ahead of their May 25 long march to Islamabad. Opposition Leader Dr Shehzad Waseem, on a point of public importance, said police broke into the houses of party leadership and workers and made a large number of arrests. He said police broke into the house of Justice (retd) Nasira Javed Iqbal in Lahore because she was the mother of PTI Senator Waleed Iqbal.
Senator Tarar responded to him, saying that they had been trying to make the last PTI government understand the things pointed out by him. He reminded the PTI that PMLN leaders, including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Rana Sanaullah and MNA Ali Wazir, were put behind the bars, but the speaker did not issue their production orders.
Later, PTI senators returned to the House, following their token walkout. The House will now resume today (May 25) at 10:30am.
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