April 13 , 2017
PPP, MQM, PTI, JI walk out of NA
Disappearance of political workers protested; ANP sets up hunger strike camp outside Parliament House against 300,000 blocked CNICs of Pakhtuns
ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties in the National Assembly boycotted the proceedings of the House on Wednesday while registering a strong protest against the disappearance of political workers and blockage of over 300,000 Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) of the Pakhtun community.
The Leader of the Opposition, Syed Khursheed Shah, announced to continue the boycott of proceedings of the House till receiving a satisfactory response from the government on, what he said, kidnapping of the three party workers from Sindh and blockage of CNICs.
The parliamentarians from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) walked out of the House while raising slogans of ‘Shame Shame’. They were also joined by the MQM parliamentarians after Sheikh Salahuddin raised the issue of missing workers during the last three years.
Speaking on a point of order, Syed Khursheed Shah termed the disappearance of PPP workers and their non production in the court within 24 hours as a deviation from the 28th Amendment in the Constitution, saying it was also a challenge for the government to safeguard the supremacy of parliament.
The opposition leader pointed out that parliament okayed the constitutional amendment regarding the powers of an institution for the purpose of curbing terrorism but regretted that within less than 20 days, the aides of ex-president Asif Ali Zardari were picked up and they were yet be produced before a magistrate.
“If anybody is corrupt or terrorist, he must be picked up but should be produced before the magistrate as ensured in the Constitutional amendment,” he said adding that Pakistan People’s Party also put its share in passage of the Constitutional amendment for revival of military courts.
He said that PPP always believed in supremacy of parliament. “Our history is witness to the fact that assemblies were dissolved, politicians were martyred but whenever we were united, the supremacy of the parliament was safeguarded.”
He said those picked up should be produced before the court and if they had been kidnapped by the Taliban, then those responsible should admit their failure.
Khursheed Shah said that he was talking about the supremacy of the Constitution and parliament because once again the Constitution was being challenged. “Once again the Constitution is being challenged but non parliamentarians are involved in this exercise,” he said.
Referring to the statement of the minister of state for interior in the Senate, he said it was a matter of shame that the government was unaware of the three missing persons.JI leader Sahibzada Tariqullah, Imran Khattak of PTI, Maulana Jamaluddin from Fata and Abdul Kahar Khan raised the issue of blocked CNICs.
Sahibzada Tariqullah said that leaders of the JI and Awami National Party were staging a hunger strike outside parliament against the blocked over 300,000 CNICs.Shaikh Salahuddin of the MQM raised the issue of missing party workers, saying in the past they had heard that the workers had been buried behind the Margalla Hills.
Responding to different point of orders, Minister of State for Interior Muhammad Balighur Rehman informed the House that maintaining law and order in Sindh was the sole responsibility of the provincial government. He said the Sindh Rangers had also informed that these two persons were not picked up by them and they were also making efforts for the recovery of the missing persons.
Regarding the person who went missing from Islamabad, he said that the police had been directed for his early recovery.About the blocked CNICs, Balighur Rehman said the ministry has issued a notification to Nadra to incorporate recommendations of the parliamentary committee constituted on the matter.
The National Assembly on Wednesday also passed “The Pakistan Council for Science and Technology Bill, 2017”.The bill, moved by the Minister for Defence Production and Science and Technology Rana Tanvir Hussain, provides for establishment of the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology. The bill has already been passed by the Senate.