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November 9, 2018
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No PM greets nation on getting loans: PML-N senator

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November 9, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: As the Senate session started, joint opposition stormed out of the House on finding no minister around.

They wondered, was it of any use to speak with no minister present in the House. Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani asked the Senate Secretary to convey to the Prime Minister to send a minister to the Senate, when Leader of the House Syed Shibli Faraz informed the House that an important meeting of the cabinet was underway and the ministers would not be able to be around till at least 12:00 noon.

The National Party’s Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, earlier, taking part in the debate, based on the four-point agenda, which the joint opposition had filed for requisition of the session, the statements made during the recent sit-ins were a massive challenge not only to the government but the state that a group of persons took control of Islamabad, issuing edicts against the prime minister, the apex court judges and the army chief.

He wondered how dialogue could be held with those, who uttered such terms for the ‘key leadership’ and then the government’s ranting that bloodshed had been averted. “You are mistaken. There will be more blood-letting, when the state surrenders before a group of such people,” he said.

Bizenjo said militants had been nurtured. He recalled that the generals and the clerics were fighting the American war in the 1980’s. “When we used to talk about this, we were dubbed as Westernized,” he said, adding Al-Qaeda, created by the foreign powers, was made a symbol by religious parties here.

He said there was a need for a paradigm shift from the national security state to a welfare state, otherwise, be Nawaz, Zardari or Imran in the government, nothing would change. He pointed out that the health budget was 0.6 per cent of GDP while allocations for education formed just 2.3 per cent of GDP.

Senators Usman Khan Kakar and Sardar Azam Musakhail of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party alleged that the Parliament was being bypassed by those who had announced not to carry begging bowl and desist from obtaining loans. They said the rulers need to explain to the nation on which conditions packages were being obtained from abroad.

They said that loans greatly impacted the country’s foreign policy and now these also influenced the interior policy. Senators disputed the government claim that no conditions were attached to the package from Saudi Arabia and insisted there must have been bargaining, the details of which must be shared with the nation.

Kakar said that Pakistan previously toed the US, Europe and Arab line and now it followed China. He alleged militancy and extremism was imposed on people of Pakistan and dictators called militants their children. He wondered how a sit-in that continued for 18 days previously, was packed up in three days now.

Senator Javed Abbasi of PML-N charged that never in the past, a prime minister had addressed the nation and congratulated it on receiving loans. Earlier, on a point of public importance, MQM-P Senator Muhammad Ali Saif, who recently visited Siachen, said that Pakistan Army troops had been defending the boundaries of Pakistan in Siachen in extremely harsh weather conditions. They faced so many hardships besides staying away from their families for long time. He emphasised the incentives for the troops deployed at Siachen should be increased, who were defending Pakistan at one of the highest fronts

Meanwhile it was rare to see an opposition senator pointing out quorum during the Senate session on Thursday for the session was requisitioned by the combined opposition to discuss its four-point agenda.

Minister for Science and Technology Muhammad Azam Swati was on his feet, speaking on the Supreme Court judgement in a blasphemy case, when PkMAP Senator Usman Kakar rose to point out quorum.

Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani ordered ringing of bells for three minutes on finding out the House lacked quorum; a mandatory presence of 26 senators in the 104-member House. But the chair reminded the opposition that the session had been summoned on their requisition application and now they were raising the quorum issue.

However, despite ringing of bells, the House did not have the mandatory number of legislators, prompting the chair to read out the prorogation order. Sanjrani announced that the debate on four-point agenda would continue in the next session. The President has summoned the Senate to meet on Friday in the morning for a regular session. The requisitioned session lasted for three sittings.

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