ISLAMABAD: The opposition in the Senate Thursday rejected the latest increase in petrol and diesel prices and stormed out of the house, billing it a bid to push the country towards a civil war.
In contrast, the treasury members blamed the former PTI government and alleged the incumbent government was now reaping the crop sowed by the Imran government through its disastrous policies.
Leader of the Opposition Dr Shahzad Waseem said that in the darkness of night, on the direction of imperialist forces, prices of petroleum products had been increased yet again. JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmad feared the massive increases in oil prices were a conspiracy against the people and their economic murder. "It is like an attack on the country from the enemy at night. This is enmity towards the masses and we reject it outright,” he charged.
Opposition senators agitated against the government and resorted to sloganeering for some time and then walked out of the house, asthe chair gave floor to PMLN Senator Irfan Siddiqui to speak on the budget.
Senator Irfan Siddiqui, who is from the treasury benches, blamed political instability which hurt economic progress as compared to even the regional countries, including India, China and Bangladesh. He explained Beijing had $3,300 billion foreign exchange reserves, New Delhi over $600 billion, Dhaka $45 billion and Pakistan, the only nuclear country in the Muslim world, $8-9 billion.
Senator Tahir Bizenjo of the National Party called for fulfilling legal requirements with regard to former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, saying neither death nor could illness erase one’s tainted past. He urged ending disparities with regard to Balochistan and allowing it to enjoy its rights over its resources first and the fruit of the same must reach its people. He wondered was there any cut in the multi-trillion spending on the ruling elite and apolitical elite.
PTI’s Ejaz Chaudhry wondered what was wrong in conducting an inquiry into the conspiracy against his party’s government and asked who had asked the ISPR DG to give statements in this connection. He asked how could the present regime take action against Ali Wazir, as their government was surviving on his vote and that of Mohsin Dawar.
JUIF Senator Maulana Ataur Rehman challenged the PTI senators to explain to the House what had been their economic successes and had they built any new dam or just worked on the projects initiated by the past governments. He passed a remark against PTI Chairman Imran Khan, which was expunged, when he wanted to know about the Toshakhana gifts, prompting PTI senators to storm out of the Senate and then one of them pointed out the quorum.
The counting found lack of quorum. Bells were rung for five minutes, even then required 25 members were not present in the house. The House was adjourned to meet again Friday morning.