ISLAMABAD - Leader of the House in the Senate Dr Shahzad Waseem, while winding up the debate on the presidential address, in the upper house yesterday brushed aside the criticism of opposition parties on the PTI government and said that Prime Minister Imran Khan actually broke the two-party system that had damaged the country badly.

He criticizing the two major opposition parties, PPP and PML-N, said that Pakistan faced international isolation and the country’s economy as well as state institutions were facing deterioration when PTI took power.

He said that PTI government not only strengthened the economy but also raised the stature of the country by playing the role of a facilitator to resolve the regional issues.

He referred to the PML-N leadership and alleged that they avoided to talk on Kashmir issue in their meetings with Indian leadership. He said that the whole world knew the credentials of PM Imran Khan and also mentioned his “bold speech” at the UN by presenting the case of Kashmir there.

He said that Pakistan without siding any one has played the role of facilitator when it comes to Saudi-Iran issue and Afghan peace process.

Rabbani asks if India or its spy Kulbushan availing special concession of filing a review plea

“Who has thrown India out of Afghan peace process,” he said while mentioning “successful diplomatic” policies of his government. He said that India has faced defeat in Ladakh and its role has been eliminated in Iran’s Chabahar Port. “Now tell me who is isolated, whether Pakistan or Modi (PM Narendra Modi),” he said adding that India was facing defeat and dissolution from within.

Earlier, the opposition asked the government to explain if India or its spy Kulbushan Jadhav was availing special concession of filing a review plea against his death sentence, offered through an ordinance.

Former chairman Senate and PPP stalwart Mian Raza Rabbani raised the matter before the government laid the COVID-19 (Prevention of Hoarding) Ordinance 2020 in the house after a delay of almost three months.

He said that the government should update the house as the deadline for filing a review plea against the death sentence awarded to Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav by a military court is expiring in a few days. The government had offered special concession of filing review before Islamabad High Court (IHC) through an ordinance.

Senator Rabbani said that the ordinance had been promulgated on May 20, but has not yet been laid before the parliament while both the houses have remained in session twice during the time period. He also said the concerned minister must give an explanation over this delay.

He pointed out that under the ordinance any foreign national, authorized representative or counsellor officer of the Indian High Commission can file a reconsideration petition against the judgment of a military court before IHC within 60 days after the promulgation of the ordinance.

He asked the Foreign Office to explain if anybody has availed the concession as more than 50 days have already passed.

He also criticized the government for announcing resumption of the Afghan Transit Trade through Wagah Border on Kashmir Martyrs Day.

He also sought briefing from the foreign ministry to brief the house on implications for the region about Iran’s decision to drop India from Chabahar Port rail project and Tehran’s new strategic alliance with Beijing.

On this, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan only said that the government was laying ordinances in accordance with the law.

While referring to the prevention of hoarding ordinance, he said that all political parties across the aisle should support the public interest legislation and the parliament should make a mechanism, either through a committee or other method, for the smooth sailing of such laws.

Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwalla who was chairing the house remarked there should be no unnecessary delay in laying ordinances before the house.

The parliamentary leader of PPP in the house Senator Sherry Rehman while taking part in discussion on President’s address to the joint sitting of the parliament in September last year said that Kashmir issue had become more important than ever especially now when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was inflicting new atrocities against the Kashmiris after August 5, 2020.

She said that it was shocking that Pakistan did not oppose India’s non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.

Commenting on the new domicile rule in India, Senator Rehman said, “Under the Nazi government of Modi, the new domicile law allows Indian citizens who have lived in Jammu and Kashmir for 15 years to claim a ‘domicile certificate’ for residency benefits.”

She said that there was no disagreement when it comes to Kashmir.” We all are on the same page when it comes to this issue and will stand together to protect Kashmir”.