ISLAMABAD   -   The opposition on Friday demanded a parliamentary investigation into the alleged torture of the captives by NAB authorities.

In the Friday’s National Assembly session, the PML-N asked the lawmakers to jointly evolve a consensus to amend NAB laws. However, the government side was interested to seek legal advice before taking any action.

Other matters regarding definition of U-turn, IMF package, incident of Chinese consulate in Karachi, Kartarpur crossing also discussed in the session requisitioned by the opposition.

Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, on a point of order, advised Prime Minister Imran Khan to stop defending his statement about U-turns. “How other countries would repose trust in us when prime minister is defending his U-turns. They will hesitate to enter into any agreement with finance minister,” said the opposition leader who attended the proceedings on the production order.

Sharif also warned PM Imran Khan and other PTI leaders to avoid using threatening language and political victimisation. “Avoid using this language, as you (PTI members) are not now on a container...We (PML-N) are not afraid of these threats and challenges,” he said and questioned about the government’ claim for providing ten million jobs and construction of five million houses throughout the country.

About prime minister’s statement in Malaysia against opposition members, he said the government should behave with responsibility. “The statements about putting the opposition members behind the bars would create negative impression at outside world,” he said.

The opposition leader also criticised the government for making a mockery of opposition’s offer to form a ‘Charter of Economy’. “Government side did not accept our offer and now willing to form Charter of Economy,” he said.

Sharif also challenged Prime minister to prove any request from THE opposition side for demanding any NRO.  “When NRO was sought. The Prime minister should also give evidence,” he said, mentioning that it was not any opposition leader but sister of PM who was given the NRO when her hidden assets in Dubai were revealed.

Sharif also paid tributes to policemen who lost their lives while defending the Chinese consulate in Karachi. He linked the terrorist attacks as an attempt to damage Pak-China friendship. He said that exchange of statements, which could make the CPEC as controversial, should be avoided.

PML-N senior leader Khwaja Asif, on his turn, proposed to make a proper definition of U-turn. “Fake claims, speeches, slogans should be shown on the screens installed in the National Assembly house to ascertain the real U-turns,” Asif said.

Another PML-N’s senior member Rana Sana Ullah demanded a parliamentary investigation into the alleged torture of the captives by the NAB authorities. “A committee comprising treasury benches members including Shireen Mazari, Riaz Fatiyana and Ali Muhammad should be formed to ascertain the inhuman behaviour and torture cell in the NAB,” he said.

Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif also rushed to endorse the proposal of his party lawmaker.

Whereas, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that they would seek legal opinion from Minister for law before the formation of parliamentary committee. “Government side would take legal aspects before the formation of any committee,” he said.

About amendments in NAB laws, PML-N senior MNA Khawaja Saad Rafique said that there was a need to jointly make amendments in the NAB laws. “The house needs to be sensitised that human rights of accused persons in NAB’s custody were being violated,” he said and asked the government to tell the House as to when it would implement the decision of Supreme Court about making amendments in the NAB laws. He blamed that the prisoners were kept in cages.

IMF PACKAGE:

Finance Minister Asad Umar, responding to the concerns raised by opposition, said that PTI’s government would not succumb to any pressure to sign an IMF package in haste.  “This government is not in a hurry to sign IMF package and it will not come under any pressure,” said the finance minister while giving policy statement about government’s engagement with IMF.

“We will not take any decision which adds to the difficulties of the people of country,” he said mentioning that the talks with IMF would continue and only favourable package would be acceptable.

The minister said that Pakistan had already signed an economic assistance package with Saudi Arabia. “Talks with other friendly countries are underway,” he said mentioning that 15.50 per cent increase has been witnessed in the remittances in last three months.

“Overseas Pakistanis have sent additional one billion dollars to Pakistan during this stint (three months),” he said. He said that incumbent government had reduced taxes on the diesel. About CPEC project, he asked the opposition to avoid doing politics on the CPEC.  The minister further said former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself were expert in taking U-turn. “What about those statements when opposition leader used to say that he would hang Asif Ali Zardari for his corrupt practices and drag him on roads,” he commented.

Minister for law and Justice Farogh Nasim , responding to the points raised by opposition, rejected the impression that the NAB was only targeting the politicians.  “NAB law is being examined in consultation with other political parties,” he said.

KARTRPUR CROSSING:

Minister for Foreign Affairs Mehmood Qureshi said the opening of Kartarpura crossing will create goodwill between Pakistan and India. “This corridor will definitely encourage Sikh community to visit Pakistan in large numbers,” he said adding the Sikh community all over the world including Canada, UK and India lauded the decision. “Indian leadership should also demonstrate the courage to open doors for the Kashmiri people for trade and people to people contacts,” he said.

The minister said that they were interested in friendly relations with all its neighbours including India. “Resolution of all outstanding disputes with India lies only in the dialogue process,” he said, mentioning the Indian side backtracked from talks due to domestic political pressure.  He, however, said that Pakistan still desires dialogue with India.

About terrorist attack, he said that the Sindh police officials bravely countered the terrorist attack. “All 21 Chinese are safe and shifted to a safe place,” he said.

Earlier, about martyrdom of SP Tahir Dawar, Minister of State for Communication Murad Saeed said those involved in the crime will be brought to justice.

Resolution paying homage to Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAWW):

The house also unanimously passed a resolution paying homage to last Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAWW) on the occasion of his birth anniversary.

The resolution was moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan. It expressed the resolve to make Pakistan and the world cradle of peace and stability in accordance with the life and teachings of the last Prophet.

The house also offered fateha for the departed souls of former MNA Najaf Abbas, SP Tahir Dawar, Tableeghi Jamaat Chief Muhammad Abdul Wahab and the mother of deputy speaker. PPP-Ps leader Rafih Ullah also presented a gift of Sindhi cap and Ajrak to the members.