Islamabad - Despite several warnings from National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, ministries continued to fail to submit replies to members’ questions during question-hour.
A total of 48 members’ questions remained unanswered during the 46th NA session held on September 18, and some of them were of national importance while some of them were of general nature.
The question of Shagufta Jumani, whether some seminaries in the country were receiving financial and other support like training of clerics, teachers and curriculum development from some foreign Islamic countries, has remained unanswered since the 39th session, held during January-February this year.
In April 2014, Minister of State for Interior Muhammad Balighur Rehman told Senate that around 15 Pakistani seminaries received Rs 258 million from other Islamic countries during the last one year.
Responding to a question, he had said that countries including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait, were providing financial support to these seminaries through donations and Zakat.
The question of MQM MNA Sheikh Salahuddin continued to defer since the 44th session. Salahuddin has asked the government regarding sectarian hatred and violence being spread in the country through print, electronic and social media and any proposal to formulate a national policy.
Not only banned organizations use social media to spread hatred but also MQM founder Altaf Hussain uses the social media to vent his anger against Pakistan.
How much Pakistan has received in aid from the international community for the flood-affected people during last five years was another question that remains to be replied.
PPPP Parliamentarian on reserved seat Belum Hasnain asked during the 45th session about the details of foreign aid received by the government from for the flood affected and the details of its utilization or disbursement.
Pakistani markets are stuffed with smuggled items. PPPP lawmaker Shahida Rehmani asked government the estimated amount of goods or items being smuggled from Afghanistan and other countries into Pakistan. The question was scheduled for the 45th session.
Rehmani in another question in 45th session asked the government that whether it was a fact that 82 percent of loans of the Zarai Taraqiati Bank were given to Punjab. The reply has not been received yet.
Many other important questions during the 46th session remained unanswered. The unanswered questions automatically transfer to the next session.
One of the questions was of lawmaker Nighat Parveen Mir, who asked has the minister for defence regarding total applications received by the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) for Multan Housing Scheme during the year 2016-17, the total amount collected and the heads under which it will be spent and how much was given to local farmers as the cost of land.
“How much land the Auqaf department owns in the country and who is utilizing that land,” Syed Waseem Hussain asked during the 45th session, but it was not replied.
The National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) reportedly made huge profits up to the tune of Rs400 billion during the year 2016-17, MNA Asyia Naz Tanoli asked State Minister Anusha Rehman the exact profits of NTC and whether the increase in salaries of the profit-making company as announced in 2016-17 budget, was paid to its staff or not.
NA Speaker Sadiq has been continuously expressing annoyance on the failure of the ministries to submit timely replies to the questions of lawmakers. Last year, he sought replies from foreign, commerce and education secretaries for failing to show up at the assembly session.
The speaker asked junior officials of the ministries to leave the session and send secretaries to the assembly to answer questions related to their ministries. The NA speaker said that the insult of the sanctity of the Parliament by government officials will not be tolerated. On September 13, he adjourned the National Assembly session for 15 minutes in protest.
As per rules and regulations, ministries were bound to answer questions of parliamentarians raised during the question-hour session on time.