ISLAMABAD - The government informed the Upper House of the Parliament on Monday that Pakistan’s water disputes with India had been made part of Composite Dialogue after the Opposition benches grilled the government questioning why it was in a hurry to give MFN status to the neighbouring country in a presence of a number of unsettled disputes with India.
The House, on a private members day, also passed a unanimous resolution calling upon the government to include all water disputes with India in the Composite Dialogue or in any other talks or dialogue process that is revived or initiated with India. A number of lawmakers spoke on the resolution moved by Senator Syeda Sughra Imam after Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq, quoting Adviser to PM on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, said, “This government has made the water disputes with India as part of the Composite Dialogue”.
Sughra Imam said that the issue of water had very significant as it would be the requirement of 250 million people of Pakistan in the next two or three decades and even WTO countries were now discussing water as a trade item.
Haji Adeel termed the Indus Water Treaty as strange agreement and said that the River Indus had no link with India.
Senator Talha Mahmood said: “ The matter could not be resolved through negotiations and they would have to lobby at international level to resolve the water disputes with India”.
Karim Ahmed Khawaja of PPP said WHO (World Health Organisation) said (in its report) that China and India were the biggest gas emitting countries and glaciers were melting due to the pollution.
Mushahid Hussain Syed termed it a water aggression of India and endorsed Sughra Imam stating,” India was wilfully violating water treaty and it is kind of aggression”. Responding a motion of Senator Farhatullah Babar, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi rejected all news about a contract regarding import of LNG with Qatar what he said mere speculations.
“LNG will start coming onto Pakistan this year,” he said ,adding,that the information was wrong that India was importing LNG at the rate of $10/mmbtu rather it was importing from Australia at the rate of $19 dollars for 20 years and Japan at $ 19.65 dollars. He told the House that the Iran Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project would be completed within 30 months from the date when international sanctions on Iran would be lifted.
Earlier, Senator Farhatullah Babar raised questions about both the new LNG terminal at Post Qasim as well the price at which it was planned to be imported from Qatar.
The House passed a unanimous resolution urging upon the Federal government to recommend provincial governments to make necessary arrangements for vocational training of the prisoners in the jails and educational facilities for children in those jails.
The government first opposed the resolution stating it was a provincial matter after 18th Amendment, however, the resolution was unanimously passed after the Presiding Officer Tahir Hussain Mashhadi remarked that the House could recommend to the provinces in this regard.
The House also discussed in detail the motion of Senator Talha Mahmood before it was adjourned till Tuesday due to lack of quorum. Talha Mahmood demanded that an inquiry into the misappropriation of PIA should be get conducted from National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Mushaidullah Khan of PML-N said that the financial losses of PIA were not due to over staffing rather it was a management issue as a number of inefficient employees were promoted out of turn and recruitments were made while violating rules in the last regime.
Meanwhile,the Senate unanimously passes an important legislation - the Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2014 - that bars the civil servants to work with international organisations, international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), foreign donor agencies and international financial institutions after getting leave from the government of Pakistan.
The bill will be sent to National Assembly to have the consent of lawmakers of the Lower House of the Parliament.
The objects and reasons of the bill state that a civil servant who is in the Service of Pakistan must have undivided loyalty to the State of Pakistan.
Dr Seeda Iqbal of PPP said it was a negative trend that civil servants used to work with international organisations after getting leave from the government.