ISLAMABAD The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thursday informed the Senate that as many as 6,337 Pakistanis are detained in various countries, out of them 5,136 have been convicted while the remaining detainees are under trial. The highest number of Pakistanis (1,228) had been detained in United Arab Emirates (UAE) followed by India with 712 Pakistani prisoners, the Ministry informed the House in a written reply to a question. Majority of Pakistani prisoners (2145) had been detained under the charges of drug trafficking, it was further informed. The House was also informed that 40 posts of BPS-17 were vacant in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while 22 non-career diplomats were appointed in Pakistans missions abroad. Responding to a calling attention notice by Prof Khurshid Ahmad, Minister for Special Initiatives Lal Muhammad told the House that the Clean Drinking Water for All (CDWA) programme suffered inordinate delay because it kept shifting from one ministry to the other. The other problem is that the implementation powers of the programme rest with the provinces, which receive funds directly from the AGPR, so that I dont even know how much funds have been transferred to the provinces, the Minister said. He, however, assured that he would deliver best possible results regarding the implementation of the programme during the next three to four months. Under the CDWA, 6,585 water filtration plants would be installed in all the provinces to ensure clean drinking water and overcome the water-born diseases. Advisor to Prime Minister, Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa, informed the House that work on five out of the 17 approved schemes for New Balakot city had been initiated. He said that the earthquake victims belonging to the old Balakot city would be given plots in the new city. Meanwhile, journalists staged walkout to protest the murder of Khairpur-based mediaman Ashiq Mangi. However, after assurance from Minister of State for Information Samsam Bukhari, the journalists called off the protest. The House also started debate on the price hike and the overall economic situation of the country. Initiating the debate, Senator Prof Khurshid Ahmad said that poverty and unemployment were the main reasons behind the surge in crimes rate. He regretted that the government could not come up with a comprehensive economic policy during the last two years. Senator Salim Saifullah suggested formation of a special committee of the House on the issue of inflation and price hike to propose practical recommendations to the government. Senator Haji Adeel said that the present and previous governments were equally responsible for the plight of the poor. He said the expenditures incurred on the war on terror should not affect the development schemes but non-developmental expenditures should be cut down. Senator Semi Siddiqui on a point of order said that Parliamentarians should be given back the rejected forms of the Benazir Income Support Programme. She also said that nation should celebrate the successful deal between the two 'bigs. Senator Shahid Bugti drew attention of Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek to media reports about his involvement in recent standoff between the executive and judiciary. The Chairman said that after elected as Chairman Senate, he never attended party meeting and tried to remain totally neutral. He said he was in Karachi during the apex hours of the standoff and returned Islamabad on Sunday evening. Senator Hamayun Mandokhel on a point of order said that the Attock Oil Refinery and National Oil Refinery, the only producers of bitumen, were owned by the same group, which had established monopoly over the commodity. He said the group was illegally hoarding and increasing prices of bitumen. Senator Haji Adeel said that in future they would clarify their position over various decisions taken by the government in prior because, he said, government frequently changed its decision thus making the position of its allies very awkward. Senator Raza Rabbani regretted the attitude of PIA Administration towards the low-scale employees.