ISLAMABAD - As the political temperature is rising constantly in the country, the PML-N government in the National Assembly on Monday adopted a strict stance against Azadi March and Revolution March, saying all the decisions will be made under the constitution.
Minister for States & Frontier Region Lt Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, at the fag end of proceeding, lambasted both PTI’s chief Imran Khan and PAT chief Tahirul Qadri on their approaches to bring ‘change’ in the country.
About Qadri, the minister chose harsh words and strongly criticised his statements against the incumbent government. “It will not be fair to leave him...He is senseless,” he said, adding that Qadri has no representation in assemblies. “It is not clear what kind of system he wants to bring in the country...In this situation how we are criticised to block roads with containers,” he maintained.
About Imran Kham, Baloch adopted a bit cautious approach in his speech. “You have complaints about Punjab constituencies then why you are up to involve the whole country,” he said. “We are not slave of anyone and we want decision in the light of constitution,” he added.
Baloch, however, could not complete his speech as PTI’s lawmaker Hamidul Haq pointed out quorum and the chair hurriedly adjourned the proceedings of the house.
Earlier, the house adopted a resolution to condemn the brutal killings of minorities and reject all forms of discrimination against them in Pakistan on the occasion of Minorities Day.
The resolution moved by Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf lauded the pivotal role of minorities in nation building and paid tribute to sacrifices and services rendered by them in making Pakistan safe. The resolution also reiterated commitment to adhere to the principles laid down by Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his address to the Constituent Assembly in 1974 laying the foundation for a tolerant and progressive Pakistan.
It urged the government to take concrete steps to establish and maintain inter-faith harmony in order to safeguard fundamentals rights of minorities as enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan.
The lawmakers from treasury and opposition felt that non-Muslims should not be called ‘minorities’ and they have equal rights to live in the country.
PPP’s Shazia Marri on her turn called for accountability of those committing crimes against minorities of the country. “Mere lip service would not serve the real purpose as this country also belongs to non-Muslims,” she added. Other lawmakers including Aasia Nasir, Ramesh Lal, Azra Fazal, Khalil Joseph, Sanjy Parwani and Tahir Iqbal also spoke about the rights of the minorities.
Ramesh Lal was of the view that minorities need to be taught their religious books in education system. He endorsed other lawmakers that their rights are not being properly protected.
Earlier, in a rare show of unity treasury and opposition benches came down hard on auditor general of Pakistan (AGP) for his refusal to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and unanimously sought the action from the speaker against the conduct of the auditor general.
The house in this regard also adopted special report of PAC, moved by Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah, about “excess salary and privileges of the auditor general of Pakistan in the light of the SRO 1074(1)/2007, dated 3rd October, 2007.”
The opposition leader, soon after the question-hour, said that the AGP was asked to appear before the committee and give his point of view but he refused to appear.
Lawmakers almost both sides of the aisle put weight behind the objections raised by Khursheed Shah and asked to take action against him. Legislators including Abbas Gopang, Hameed Ullah, Rohail Asghar, Naveed Qamar, and Mian Abdul Manan criticised his misconduct.
PkMAP chief Mahmood Khan Ackakzai went extra mile in his criticism, saying that AGP should be summoned before the parliament. “If he refused to do so, he should be sacked as parliament is supreme and every institution of the country including the army are required to surrender before it,” he added.
About a call-attention notice regarding increase in paid political contents, Parliamentary Secretary for Information and Broadcasting Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha said that there was no proper mechanism to regulate it. “In paid contents commercial on Azadi March is on first position...Azam-e-Benazir and Punjab government advertisements are on second and third positions respectively...law is silent under the current legislative framework to take any step,” he added.
A report on National Economic Council was laid before the house, which was presented by Aftab Sheikh, minister of state for parliamentary affairs.
Earlier, Minister for Inter-Provincial coordination Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada laid report of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) for the year 2012-13 before the house.