ISLAMABAD  - The National Assembly on Monday saw an eventful day, as the MNAs from both sides passed a resolution on Kashmir martyrs’ day, conducted a debate on agriculture reforms and also briefly traded barbs against each other on different matters.

Although the house witnessed thin presence throughout the day, the opposition members, unlike before, refrained from disrupting the proceedings by pointing out the lack of required quorum.  The MNAs from both sides of the aisle unanimously passed two important resolutions. In the first resolution, which was with reference to Kashmir martyrs’ day, the lawmakers from both sides condemned ongoing Indian oppression against the people of Occupied Kashmir.

The resolution, moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, expressed the resolve to extend diplomatic and political support to the just freedom struggle of Kashmiris. The House called upon the United Nations and the international community to play their role to stop bloodshed and oppression in Kashmir by the Indian forces.

The MNAs also unanimously passed a resolution teaching the Quran with Urdu translation. The resolution, moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, recommended the present government to take measures for teaching of Quran with Urdu translation in all the universities and institutions of higher education affiliated with the federal government. This step would enable students to have a better understanding of Quranic education, according to the resolution.

The house saw a brief verbal brawl between lawmakers from treasury and opposition benches, which was later controlled by the chair.

PPP-P’s Abdul Qadir Patel, on a point of order, came down hard on the government for allegedly taking improper measures for the development of the country. “Should I stop exposing the ineligibility and weakness of this government...Now even Ethiopia has put Pakistan on watch list,” he said while passing remarks against the Prime Minister.

On this, the treasury benches members asked the chair to stop him. The speaker switched off the mic of Abdul Qadir Patel when he refused to stop.

The house saw a match of sloganeering between the government and the opposition members. As, the members from opposition benches raised slogans of ‘Qadir –Qadir’ and the treasury benches members in return started shouting ‘Qatil-Qatil’. The chair intervened and cooled down the situation by starting another agenda item.

With the outset of the proceedings, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari informed that her ministry had started taking notice on caricatures in social media against minorities. “One person identified hails from Faisalabad. More work on it is underway,” said the minister, commenting that no one would be allowed to insult religions of others. She was responding to the concerns raised by opposition in the previous session about campaign against minorities on social media. PTI’s MNA Ali Nawaz, on a call-attention notice, drew attention of ruling party towards closure of OPD. “OPD’s closure can lead to multiplying problems of patients,” he said.

However, he was unable to convince the government to immediately open the OPDs. Parliamentary Secretary Nosheen Hamid informed that these OPDs were closed on the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO). “OPDs would start functioning once we received a signal from the NCOC,” she said.

Federal Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam said that there was a need for funds and use of modern technology for the progress of the agriculture sector. “We have to take practical steps to improve the agriculture sector of the country, as fake measures would not work,” he said, mentioning that there was a need to work for the medicine of livestock. He said, “Efforts are being made for the approval of the Kisan package Economic coordination Committee (ECC),” he said.

PTI’s senior member further said that the use of quality seed with 80 percent germination capacity could enhance production of cotton bales from nine to fourteen billion in coming years.

PML-N’s Ali Gohar criticized the policies of the incumbent government especially in the agriculture sector. He said the government had only been obliging sugar mills.

Nawab Sher from PTI criticized the step to import wheat from outside the country.

“Currently old seed is being used, which is not good for the agriculture sector,” he said.  A member from opposition benches Ayesha Ghous Bux Pasha, taking part in the debate, asked the reasons behind allowing Afghan transit trade through Wagah border.

“On what conditions was this concession given to India? Will it be loyalty with the people of Kashmir,” she asked from treasury benches. She said that there was a need to specify funds for the research of seeds. Another member from opposition benches Rao Ajmal said that Punjab Seed Corporation had not been operating for the last fifteen years. He said that there was no proper research in cotton. “Situation of wheat might be unsatisfactory next year,” he feared.

PTI’s MNA Raja Riaz pointed out absence of ministry officials in the galleries of the house. “There is a need to suspend the house due to this apathetic attitude of bureaucracy,” he said, commenting that there was a need for building dams in the country to avoid water shortage in future. He said India has constructed over 50 dams in the country to avoid water scarcity in future.

Minister for Power Division Umar Ayub, responding to a call-attention notice over electricity transmission issue in the former FATA area, said that Rs5 billion had been allocated for amelioration of electricity system in the area.

MNA Abdul Shakoor said that the infrastructure was badly damaged due to operation in the South Waziristan area.