KARACHI - Senator Raza Rabbani on Tuesday asked the federal government to refrain from privatising the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) and warned that any attempt of their sale would be foiled by the PPP through parliament, courts or public protests.

Addressing a press conference at the PPP Medias Cell along with other PPP leaders, Rabbani said that if government could not manage the affairs of the institutions then it should be handed over to the employees. He said that the IMF report had indicated toward the privatisation of these institutions. “Who are IMF and World Bank to dictate the country on these issues,” he said.

Rabbani said that the only aim of selling out the mills is to capture its precious land and if the government wants to take any decision on their sale then the issue should be discussed at the Council of Common Interest Forum.

He said that decision was taken in Zia era to ban students and labour unions in order to strengthen the capitalist system.

He said that the incumbent government has only three months left but it is bent on selling out the national institutions on cheap prices.

He lamented the language used by the Federal Ministers Daniyal Aziz and Miftah Ismail regarding sale of the national institutions and said that this is not their private businesses and rather the assets of the poor people of the country.

He said that the newly announced polices from the federal government especially that of the open sky policies in civil aviation had created problems for the national flag carrier to grow.

He said that the ECP order on the parliamentary committee of Senate working on delimitations raises question mark on the election body as it has no right to raise query over any working of the parliamentary committees.

“The ECP should have read the terms and references of the upper house of the parliament and the Senate committee will present its findings before the chairman senate,” he said and added that it is better that all institutions of state should work within their domain.

To a query regarding decrease in rupee rate as compared to dollar, the former senate chairman said that there are rumors that the government is eyeing to acquire foreign exchange from a friendly country and it would only be used for preserving in government exchequer. “Before taking any of the steps, the government should take the parliament into confidence over it,” he said.