ISLAMABAD -  The PML-N government is likely to table the Fata reforms bill in the National Assembly today (Wednesday) for legislation after the opposition staged a walkout for the seven consecutive day on Tuesday over dropping of the bill from the agenda.

Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq after the opposition walkout hinted to give a good news to end impasse on the Fata reforms issue today. “Good news might be given tomorrow about the Fata reforms issue...We have played our role,” said Sadiq.

However, the opposition parties separately raising their issue staged a walkout from the House.

Earlier, Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah said the opposition would continue its boycott till proper legislation on Fata reforms issue. “This bill should not be thrown out of the agenda of the National Assembly as such thing has happened for the first time,” Shah said.

SUGARCANE GROWERS ISSUE

About improper rates of sugarcane, the opposition leader came down hard on the government for turning a deaf ear to the issue. The federal government should resolve the issue of sugarcane growers as they were not receiving proper rates. “For the last five days, the growers are on the protest. It is not enough to term it a provincial matter as federal government should take step to resolve it,” he said.

Rana Hayat from treasury benches proposed to engage all chief ministers for resolution of the issue. “Those mill owners who are not giving proper rate should be arrested,” he added.

Likewise, MNAs mainly from agriculture background strongly raised the plight of growers. MNA Jamshed Dasti also registered his protest by wearing a white ribbon on his forehead inscribed with ‘economic massacre of growers should be stopped’.

Giving a solution, Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan proposed to form a committee consisting of all stakeholders to address the sugarcane issue in the country.

Citing ‘Sugar factories control act’, Bosan clarified that this was a matter of provincial governments. “It can be resolved only by engaging provinces, Ministry of Industries, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of finance,” he said while giving a technical solution to end the crisis.

The federal government, the minister said, is ready to provide subsidy on fertiliser to sugarcane growers but at the same time Sindh and KP are seemingly not interested to pay their due share.

Minister for Commerce Pervaiz Malik also endorsed the proposal to form a committee to resolve the issue amicably. “Government is making all-out effort to end the crisis... A committee should be formed to resolve this matter,” Malik was responding on a point of order raised by Leader of the Opposition Khurshid Shah regarding the recent sugarcane issue in the country.

PML-N ministers think SC adopted different yardstick in Nawaz Sharif case:

Two PML-N ministers, on a point of order, drew a comparison of court decisions in cases of PTI’s Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen and PML-N chief/former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Both the ministers were of the view that the court adopted different yardsticks in cases of Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan. They criticised the Supreme Court’s verdict in Imran Khan and Jahangir Tareen’s case, saying the list of controversial decisions of court has further stretched with the addition of these two decisions.

Minister for Railways Saad Rafique, on a point order, spoke at length on recent decisions of the apex court. “We have all respect for judiciary and always respected the decisions of court,” he added terming the recent decisions an addition to the list of controversial decisions of court. “It seems from these decisions that Imran Khan and his friends have been given relief while Nawaz Sharif and his family are being victimised,” he said.

Rafique blamed Imran Khan for dragging political matters like the Panama issue into court instead to contest it in the public.

The minister said that former prime minister was disqualified for only not withdrawing salary from a company of his son but the PTI’s chief was acquitted despite the fact he had admitted about his offshore company.

He further drew a comparison that no Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had been constituted to further investigate the matter in Jahangir Tareen case. Whereas, the NAB was directed to file a reference against Maryam Nawaz on suspicion of being a beneficial owner of two offshore companies.

He also raised the matter of foreign funding case against PTI. The court has barred the ECP not to go beyond five years time in the case while the PTI’s foreign funding issue begins in 2010-11, he said mentioning if a crime was committed five years ago then should it not be probed.

Minister for Privatization Daniyal Aziz also spoke in length on the recent decisions of apex court. He said that an impression is being given that recent decisions of the apex court are a drive against corruption in the country. He came down hard on the KP government for not properly working against the menace of corruption. “The concerned institution is headless for over two years,” the minister said, mentioning that Sindh province had even scrapped the NAB law. The KP government has locked down its provincial accountability commission and Sindh government has scrapped the accountability law in the province. About Imran Khan case, he said, the PTI’s chief could not provide a satisfactory answer about his offshore company and assets. 

Although opposition was not present in the house to respond but a single opposition member Sher Akbar was much disappointed from these speeches. He said: “Seemingly the movement for destruction of judiciary has begun”.