ISLAMABAD - Opposition in yesterday’s National Assembly session criticized federal government for alleged discriminating against smaller provinces in distribution of funds.

The government also came under fierce attack for not taking appropriate measures to deal with woes of people of Gilgit-Biltistan and it was demanded to declare emergency in the calamity-hit area.

“In a dictator’s era this discrimination is understandable but in a democratic period this inequity is shocking,” Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah said about the unjust distribution of funds among the provinces. Sharing the figures, he said Punjab received Rs10 billion, Balochistan Rs440 million, KP Rs480 million, Sindh 790 million and Islamabad (capital territory) 700 million.

“Other provinces should be provided proper funds,” he said, asking the government to check the figures he shared with the house.

He also criticised government for not allocating funds to members from opposition benches. “We are praying for the health of the prime minister,” he said, commenting about Nawaz Sharif who is abroad for medical check-up.

Responding to a point of order raised by the Opposition Leader about shortage of food items in Gilgit-Baltistan, Minister for Climate Change, Zahid Hamid said relief goods are being sent to the rain-affected areas of Gilgit-Baltistan on daily basis.

“National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has sent 24 tonnes of relief goods including wheat to the area,” said the minister, adding that eight tonnes each have been dispatched to GB by Balochistan and Punjab governments.

Army has also airlifted five tonnes food items for the area. He assured the house the situation in the area was now under control. He said work was going on to clear the roads blocked by landslides triggered by recent rains.

Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) staged walkout from the house over threats to party members. “Party members are receiving threats from unknown persons,” said Suleman Baloch, on point of order. “We are being asked to change political loyalty,” he said, alleging that a group of establishment was working on minus-Altaf formula.

PTI’s Shireen Mazari pointed out that American Defence Secretary Ash Carte had talked about terrorism in Pakistan during his recent visit to India but he did not speak about RAW’s involvement in Pakistan. “Pakistani Foreign Office should respond to Obama’s criticism on Pakistani nuclear programme,” she demanded.

Responding to call-attention notice, Minister for SAFRON Qadir Baloch said that the figure of 60 million for people below the poverty line in the country was wrong.

“The government is taking all out measures to reduce poverty,” he said, mentioning that Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) was working for providing some relief to the poor.

A Fata member, Haji Gul Afridi said there should be thorough debate on Fata reforms in the house. Qadir Baloch assured the house that government will take input of all parties before finalising Fata reforms.