Fata reforms impasse paralyses NA

ISLAMABAD: The opposition for the eighth consecutive day on Wednesday staged a walkout from the National Assembly proceedings for non-inclusion of the “Fata reforms bill” in the agenda.

The government side, once again, assured to address the reservations of the opposition regarding the Fata reforms issue.

“Tomorrow morning [Thursday] the issue about the Fata reforms will be resolved,” said Minister for Safron Abdul Qadir Baloch, responding to the concerns raised by the opposition.

Opposition leader Syed Khurshid Shah, with the onset of proceedings, raised concerns for not bringing the Fata reforms bill in the agenda.

“Despite assurance, the government side has not mentioned the Fata reforms bill in the agenda,” said Shah, mentioning that they would not prefer to sit in an empty house.

“This bill should not be thrown out of the agenda of the National Assembly as such a thing has happened in past,” he said.

The speaker, the other day (on Tuesday), had hinted to give good news to the house on Wednesday to end the impasse over the Fata reforms issue.

The opposition soon after the speech of opposition leader left the house in protest.

A Fata MNA Shah Jee Gul Afridi pointed out lack of required quorum in the house and the chair, the speaker National Assembly, suspended the house due to thin presence.

The opposition side applied same tactics to suspend the proceeding of the house by pointing out quorum, as they twice raised quorum issue in the house.

PMAP chief Mehmood Achakzai, on a point of order, said the ban on automatic weapons possessed by the people could create problem for them.

“The ban on it would be tantamount to leaving people at the mercy of dacoits,” said Achakzai, argued that most of the people from the KP and Balochistan carry weapon for their safety.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, in his first speech as prime minister, had pledged to take action against automatic weapons in the country.

A treasury benches lawmaker Shaista Pervaiz Malik, on a point of order, raised serious concerns over alleged meeting of the AML chief Sheikh Rashid with two NAB members.

“How a petitioner can meet with the NAB officials, as it needs to be probed,” Malik said, mentioning that this matter needed to be sent to the Cabinet committee to investigate it.

Sheikh Salahuddin from the MQM, on a point of order, raised the matter regarding shortage of water in port city of Karachi.

He linked the water shortage issue with the ongoing construction work carried out a private housing society in the port city.

Salahuddin raised protest against demolition of wedding halls without giving prior notice.

“I will not support China cutting but the people had made advance booking of these halls,” he said.

National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, at the onset of the proceedings, came down hard on Ministry of Safron for not submitting a written reply to a question raised by a member.

“Should I walkout from the house on this matter…Is this how assembly will run. This is the last warning,” he said, adding that strict action would be taken over negligence in future.

MNA Rana Hayat, at the fag end of the proceedings, once again raised the issue of low sugarcane prices.

“The government is not paying heed to their sufferings. Why is the government not arranging meeting of all the chief ministers,” he asked.

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