ISLAMABAD - Opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly (NA) on Friday, raising serious doubts over the sudden resignation of Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Yaseen Anwar, asked the government to explain its reasons in detail to quash certain doubts.
The opposition parties apparently taking the advantage of thin presence on treasury benches in their back-to-back attacks raised matter of mass graves in Balochistan province.
The treasury benches though did not share any reason behind the resignation of Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), they came up with criticism on preparation for setting up the stage at the heart of the Mohenjodaro during Sindh Festival.
Three important reports of the standing committee including reports of the committee on The Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill‚ 2013 (Ordinance No. VII of 2013)‚ The Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill‚ 2013 (Ordinance No. VIII of 2013) and Protection of Pakistan Bill‚ 2013, was also presented in the House by chairman of the Standing committee on Interior Rana Shamim Ahmed Khan.
Taking the floor on point of order, PTI's lawmaker Shafqat Mehmood at the fag end of the proceeding strongly demanded the reasons behind resignation of governor SBP. "Ishaq Dar seems to be a nice man but this resignation raised many doubts," he said and quoted that earlier chairman NADRA was sent to home through intimidation. "Seeing this situation of regulatory bodies we will register strong protest," he said demanding the details of printing of new currency notes. He also pointed out the reports for removing PCB chairman are also circulating.
Another PTI's lawmaker, on a point of order, went some extra miles in his criticism and demanded the assurance that the nomination of the new governor state bank will be on merit. He also accepted the challenge of treasury benches on the matter of printing new currency notes. "I will share details of printing currency notes on Monday," he added.
He further said the resignation of the SBP governor in the context of a situation where critical regulatory bodies like NEPRA, SECP and CCP are without full time chairmen should be of grave concern to those who have any interest or care for the economy of Pakistan. He further mentioned that it shows disdain of the incumbent government for any regulatory oversight of the economy. Adding his share, MNA Arif Alvi also demanded the reasons behind sudden resignation of governor SBP.
Responding to the point of order raised by MNA Alia Kamran on matter of mass graves, PML-N senior lawmaker Abdul Qadir Baloch assured the house that the matter of mass graves will be probed thoroughly. He said chief justice of Balochistan High Court will investigate the matter. He further said that a committee has been formed to investigate into this matter.
"It is a sad incident indeed," he said, adding that the number of dead bodies recovered from the collective grave is stated to be 13. He further said that deputy commissioner had reached the scene and exhumation of grave was carried out. He further shared that allegations have also been levelled against different insurgents and institutions but no clear reply has been received so far. This matter of mass grave was continuously been raised in the house.
A PML-N lawmaker Marvi Memon, on a point of order, raised the matter of setting up the stage at the heart of Mohenjo-daro during Sindh Festival. She said that it could badly affect on the historic site. "Sindh Festival is welcoming step. We appreciate the brainchild of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari but it should be bit far from the soil of the historic site," he added.
It is relevant to mention here that certain reports claim that ancient site may incur damage due to the poor planning of the organisers and setting up the stage right at the heart of the ruins is being considered a risky step, which may cause unnecessary damage.
Defending the criticism, a PPP lawmaker took the floor and explained that the stage would be wooden and far from the historic site. "Stage would not incur any damage to this site," he added.
Earlier, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Interior Rana Shamim Ahmad Khan presented before the House reports of the committee on The Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill‚ 2013 (Ordinance No. VII of 2013)‚ The Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill‚ 2013 (Ordinance No. VIII of 2013) and Protection of Pakistan Bill‚ 2013.
The first two reports relate to "further amend the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997" while the third one calls for "protection against waging of war against Pakistan and the prevention of acts threatening the security of Pakistan".
According to the report, the lawmaker of PTI registered dissenting note 'The Anti-terrorism (Amendment) Bill‚ 2013 (Ordinance No. VIII of 2013).' Naeema Kishwar, in her dissent note, said the words 'reasonable complaint' and 'reasonable doubts' are required to be clearly defined. She further said that the accused persons may be kept in custody up to 90 days but he/she should be produced before the court after every fortnight.
The statement of objects and reasons of the report says: "Due to increasing terrorism more legislative measures are required to enhance the effectiveness of the law enforcing agencies in tackling heinous crime, specially conferring power of investigation on Rangers, providing legal cover to JIT and special provision for protection of witness through video recording.
According to the report, 'the protection of Pakistan bill, 2013 ordinance No. IX of 2013)', the PTI lawmaker Arif Alvi in his dissenting note termed it a draconian measure. It may lead to serious unbridled violation of human rights without preventing terrorism.
Whereas, the report in article-3 'use of armed forces and civil armed forces to prevent schedule offences', says 'after giving prior warning use of such force as may be deemed necessary or appropriate, keeping in view all the facts and circumstances of the situation, against any person who is committing or in all probability is likely to commit a schedule offence, is shall be lawful for any such officer after forming reasonable apprehension that death, or order the firing upon any person or person against who he is authorised to use force.
The statement of objects and reasons says that the bill provides for protection against waging of war against Pakistan prevention of acts threatening the security of Pakistan.
Earlier, responding to a question about religious seminary, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yusuf informed that subject of Islamic education has been devolved to the provinces. However‚ three model religious seminaries at Karachi‚ Sukkur and Islamabad are under administrative control of the ministry of religious affairs.