ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Mian Raza Rabbani Monday asked the government to explain in the Senate that what political price Pakistan would have to pay for getting $ 6 billion bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“I want to ask from the government that what political price Pakistan would have to pay, with this package, in terms of Afghanistan if (US’s) on-going talks with Taliban would fail,” said the former chairman while speaking in the house on a point of public concern. He said that this economic package had both political and financial implications.

Rabbani posed a second question and said that in the wake of emerging situation in the region with regard to Iran; if a war between US and Iran starts, then what price Pakistan will have to pay for this large package?

In the face of an overall US policy of containment of China, whether Pakistan would become a tool in this policy of containment with this package, he also questioned? Reminding the house about other day’s statement given by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his hometown that many forces wanted to derail China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project (CPEC), the PPP lawmaker said that when US Secretary of State was saying to block loans as well as aid of its allies, whether this would right to understand that CPEC would be rolled back?

Says bailout package has political and financial implications

Mentioning some reports published in the WikiLeaks, PPP senator alleged that that “US uses IMF, World Bank and other such institutions for its political leverage.” “There is a hybrid warfare going on and efforts are under way to impose Egypt model, politically and economically, in Pakistan,” he said adding that this model was not acceptable to them in both terms.

“I through chair demand that Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi should come in the house (to take it into confidence) because IMF package had financial and political implications,” Rabbani underscored. He also deplored that the advisor announced that agreement on TV without approval of the cabinet, and Council of Common Interests (CCI) and without taking the parliament into confidence.

“IMF says that prior actionable measures would be mandatory for continuing with the agreement,” the former chairman Senate said. These including levying of additional taxes, to increase the interest rate, and the most dangerous thing is, which will bring tsunami of inflation, further devaluation of rupee from 20 to 30 percent, he said. Besides this, oil, gas and electricity prices would be increased under these measures, he added. “This is hybrid war which is taking place and we need to understand it clearly,” he concluded.

As it was a private members’ day in the Senate, the house adopted a joint resolution recommending the government to retain the headquarters of PIA in Karachi rather than Islamabad. PPP, ANP, BNP-M, PML-N, and independent lawmakers sponsored it which was opposed by the government.

Before the passage of resolution, Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz admitted that the government was working on a proposal to shift headquarters of the state-owned airline. “But we have opposed the resolution because we have not taken a final decision,” he said.

Federal Minister for Aviation Division Ghulam Sarwar Khan also endorsed the leader of house and said that so far some officers had been transferred from Karachi to Islamabad as they had to consume a lot of time to participate in important meetings like Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) in Islamabad. These officials are permanent residents of the areas close to the federal capital, he said.

PPP Parliamentary Leader in Senate Sherry Rehman talking on the resolution demanded that the government should give a definitive statement about the motivations behind the move.

“There’s a general view that the government is trying to centralize every service, authority, and just about any activity or resource to Islamabad. PIA’s headquarters has always been based in Karachi,” she said.

She further went on to say that Karachi was the commercial hub of Pakistan. “There are various examples to support that the airline headquarters are based in commercial hubs”.

Senator Rabbani in his remarks on the resolution said that under the constitution, Pakistan was a federal republic and head offices of all commercial centres had to be equally distributed within provinces. “The government was moving toward One Unit with this move.”

Tabled by a Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker, the house adopted a resolution recommending to take examinations of Central Superior Services (CSS) in national language Urdu along with English. The house passed the resolution after the government said in the house that it wanted that examination should be conducted in both languages.

The house adopted a motion authorizing the chairman Senate to form the Parliamentary Committee in consultations with Speaker National Assembly to ensure steps to protect minorities from forced conversion of religion.