ISLAMABAD - The PPP-led opposition parties in the Senate Thursday staged a token walkout to protest the government’s dillydallying in convening meeting of the Council of Common Interest (CCI), which it believed is gross violation of the constitution.

The Upper House, which resumed with Chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, witnessed a token walkout by the opposition on unsatisfactory answer by the Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq. Haq rejected the concerns raised by PPP Parliamentary Leader Mian Raza Rabbani that there was any delay in CCI meeting, adding that CCI meeting is very much on the agenda of the government. “The delay if any is because of the agenda of the meeting which is being worked out,” he added.

On the other hand, Senator Rabbani who raised the issue through a point of order still insisted that the meeting which was due to be held within 90 days as per the 18th constitutional amendment, but regretted there were no signs of any meeting or schedule announced by the government despite 135 days have been passed. He was of the view that it was sheer violation of the constitution and there was no satisfactory assurance by the treasury benches therefore, the opposition is staging a token walkout to resent the bad governance of the government.

The PPP leader sought to discuss the CCI meeting, as the opposition members believed that government was contemplating to kick start privatisation of vital state enterprises without adopting constitutional procedure.

The PPP senators were of the view that government was about to start privatisation of some vital national assets in haste, which they believed, can be done only after the approval of Council of Common Interest (CCI).

Similarly, Mian Raza Rabbani insisted that government was also delaying presenting its agreement with the IMF in the House that tantamount to breach of privilege of the entire House. Mian Raza Rabbani also raised concerns about the government’s plan to increase gas tariff from 1st January, which was a very upsetting issue.

However, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar who attended the House after recovering from recent illness stood on a point of order and assured the House that government has no plan to raise gas prices for domestic consumers.

Instead, he said that efforts are under way to resolve the issue of cross subsidy on gas being provided to the private sector industrial units including captive power plants specially in fertilizer sector which the government wants to pass on to the public. 

He said he inform the House next week by making a comprehensive policy statement on economic policy of the government.

Later, responding to call intention notice Minister of State for Interior and Narcotics Control, Baleegh-ur-Rehman has said that 119 officials in Islamabad police have been removed from their posts for their involvement in criminal activities.

He said that action is being taken against the cops and several officials have been arrested, while inquiries are under away against others.

Responding to a calling attention notice of Senator Khalida Perveen in the Senate on Friday, Baleegh-ur-Rehman said that the government took serious notice of incidents of police officials’ involvement in anti-social activities. He said that a well-reputed officer is appointed as Inspector General in the federal capital.

The state minister said that a committee has also formed in police department for accountability. The House was adjourned till Monday.