ISLAMBAD - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmakers on Friday boycotted the National Assembly (NA) proceedings for the third consecutive day in protest against the “disappearance of their party members”.

PPP has made it clear that they would continue boycott of the proceedings of the house till getting satisfactory response from the government.

Parliamentary leader of PPP Naveed Qamar, on a point of order, said the government should come up with a clear response over the issue of “disappearance of PPP members”. “The government should admit its helplessness...At least come up with a proper response,” said the PPP MNA, urging the government not to ignore this matter.

He said the incumbent government has turned a deaf ear to the issue of his party’s missing persons. “Today we [the PPP] are facing this issue. It can also happen with PML-N. This is not the way to run government and it will not prove helpful for democracy,” said Qamar.

The government side did not come up with any response, as both Minister for Interior Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan and State Minister for Interior Baligh-Ur-Rahman were not present in the house.

The media reports said that three aides of PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari have gone missing in different cities and the PPP has adopted a strategy to disrupt proceedings of the house as protest against the government. 

One member of PPP Ramesh Lal did not leave the house with other party’s members and pointed out quorum. Around 50 MNAs were present in the house when quorum issue was raised by PPP lawmaker. Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, apparently avoiding embarrassment of government, adjourned the proceedings of the house.

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) MNAs were set to raise the issue of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadev on the floor but the house was adjourned abruptly.

Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs, was also in the house to give a policy statement on the Indian spy. Kulbhushan Jadhav was awarded death penalty a couple of days before but the government had yet not informed parliament.

Talking to The Nation, Dr Shireen Mazari from PTI said his party was set to raise issue of Indian spy as still government did not take the house into confidence.

Earlier, in a written reply, Minister for Railways Saad Rafique said that Pakistan Railways has fleet of 448 locomotives out of which 293 are functional and 155 are non-functional.

He said that 77 new locomotives had been inducted in the system of Pakistan Railways during the last five years. He said that over 90 DE Locomotives were under maintenance/ heavy repairs presently and would be made completely operational by June 2018.

“A total of 62 Chinese locomotives are held up since long requiring heavy repairs. The rehabilitation plan of these locomotives is under consideration subject to a feasibility study to establish that the rehabilitation will be economical, keeping in view the residual life of these locomotives,” he said.

Only two items were on the agenda of the house but not even a single item was taken up. The proceedings of the house after the Question-hour could continue only for 15 minutes.