ISLAMABAD – Leaving the main agenda items untouched, the ruling PPP and opposition PML-N remained busy in exchanging barbs on creation of new provinces and volatile situation on Indian border, on Monday, the first day of the 49th session of the national assembly.The main opposition party said that instead of giving an appropriate response to Indian LOC ceasefire violation (on January 6) and the following volley of threats to Pakistan along with an intense propaganda campaign by the neighbouring country, the government was 'apologetic'.However, the treasury benches clarified that Pakistan showed its commitment by not 'escalating' the tension and raised the issue at appropriate forums against the belligerent Indian attitude. “Indian side provoked the situation but Pakistan in response expressed responsible attitude and the world appreciated it,” Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said when Leader of the Opposition in NA Ch Nisar Ali Khan raised the issue.Giving the policy statement after the violation of ceasefire by Indian forces that also claimed lives of Pakistani soldiers, Hina Khar said that Pakistan was committed not to escalate the situation rather it was trying to normalise it. “Incumbent government is not sleeping... we are well aware of the challenges,” she said. She said Pakistan also suggested engaging the United Nations Military Observes Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGP) for third party probe.She said “responsible response of the government” should not be termed in this way. On new defence doctrine, when pointed out by the PML-N leader, she said that “we are aware of the challenges emanating from East. But we should not be in any illusion about the internal challenges, which have deprived us of our leaders and innocent citizens.”Earlier, Ch Nisar lashed out at the Indian attitude by blowing the matter out of proportions and said that Pakistan should have given a befitting response but ‘treasury benches seem senseless’. “Strong response should be given to the statements of Indian prime minister, foreign minister and army chief,” he said, adding that “we don't want war with India but peace should be with respect and honour”.PML-N leader also strongly rejected the new defence doctrine labelling internal threat a bigger security concern than dangers from India. “PML-N has serious reservations on this document, whose ownership has not been taken any quarter,” he said, and viewed that it was not a minor issue and Pakistan has security threats both internal and external.Raising the issue of creation of new federating units in Punjab, Nisar strongly criticised Punjab Governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood for making statements over this matter. “We are in favour of southern Punjab provinces but it should not be at the whims of one person or few people,” he added. He expressed surprise over the governor’s statements at a time when parliamentary commission is yet to submit its report on this issue. “Government is not serious about it; rather, it is using it as a slogan for upcoming elections,” he added. PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal also suspected government’s intention saying, “At the fag end of their government now PPP is raising the issue just to use this slogan for elections.” In response, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said that opposition should come up explicitly on this issue as it was adopting diplomatic attitude on it. Kaira asked why PML-N did not send names to the parliamentary commission when they were asked and why Punjab Assembly refused to nominate their members to this commission. “How can budget share of new provinces be mentioned in the last budget as still new provinces are not announced,” he questioned.About Islamabad long march declaration, Kaira said it was not unconstitutional as they also involved allied parties in talks with Tehreek-Minhajul Quran chief Tahirul Qadri. He also talked of the achievements of PPP government during its running tenure.JUI-F leader Attaur Rahman criticised imposition of governor rule in Balochistan. “Situation in KPK and Karachi is also not satisfactory then why governor rule is not imposed there,” he asked. Commenting on the verbal brawl of the PPP and the PML-N members, he said the assembly was looking like a talk show of a TV channel. JUI-F leader also staged walkout from the house over the attitude of the PPP government on the issue of governor rule.ANP’s Hamayatulla strongly criticised Attaur Rahman on his statement over imposition of governor rule in KPK. “They have terrorist in their ranks,” he blamed without naming anyone. Earlier, at the start of the session, members of the house from Fata walked out against government attitude on issue of deaths of people in Bajaur Agency.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 22-Jan-2013 here.