ISLAMABAD - The main opposition parties on Thursday asked Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar to immediately tender his resignation over his recent statement, or clarify his statement after the CAA report.

Earlier this month, the minister had declared that almost 40 per cent of Pakistani pilots possessed ‘fake licences’. Contradicting the Aviation Minister, yesterday the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) clarified that all commercial/airline transport pilot licences (CPL/ATPL) it issued “are genuine and validly issued”.

The statement by Ghulam Sarwar Khan remained the main topic of discussions in the Parliament, TV shows and social media over the last few days. PML-N’s MNA Murtaza Javed Abbasi, on a point of order, drew attention of the lower house towards the clarification by CAA. “The minister’s statement brought a bad name to the country; we have become a laughing stock in the world.”

PPP-P’s Nafeesa Shah, taking the floor on a same matter said that the national exchequer had suffered a loss of 500 million rupees due to the statement of the minister.

“Either the minister resigns on his statement or the CAA tenders an apology, as there is a contradiction in both the statements,” she argued. “It is matter of our prestige. We will keep raising this matter in the house till there is clarification from the government side,” she said.

RUMPUS DURING

DEBATE On AGRICULTURE, KALABAGH DAM

Lawmakers from both sides of aisle asked the government to declare an agriculture emergency to resolve the issues of farmers.

They said that the previous government should have taken appropriate measures to save agriculture which is the backbone of the country.

PTI’s MNA Sana Ullah Masti Khel said that there was a need to develop consensus on the construction of Kalabagh dam.

His comments invited sharp criticism from PPP-P’s MNAs, who strongly opposed the suggestion to build Kalabagh dam.

PPP-P’s MNA Rafique Ahmed Jamali said the construction on Kalabagh dam would not be possible at any cost. “The dam can only be built after evolving consensus among all the provinces,” he said.

Earlier, the government rejected a motion floated by the opposition on prices of petroleum products.

Regarding electricity transmission lines, Minister for Power Omar Ayub said the present government has invested to upgrade power distribution and transmission system.

“Now transmission has jumped 23000 megawatt from 18000 megawatt,” he said, adding that the issues of low voltages in congested areas would be addressed.

He said efforts have been accelerated to check power pilferage. “There is a plan to enhance power generation to one hundred thousand megawatt by 2040”.