March 09 , 2017


Deal with Switzerland on exchange of bank accounts information this month: Dar

* Minister tells NA several meetings were held with Swiss authorities and now they have invited Pakistan to sign the agreement on our conditions on March 21

By: By Ijaz Kakakhel

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar Wednesday said Pakistan will be signing an agreement with Switzerland for exchange of information on tax evaded money during current month.

"The Swiss government has offered Pakistan to sign such an agreement in the third quarter of current month that will enable us to exchange information on tax evaded money," he informed National Assembly in a policy statement.

Giving background, the minister said the process had started way back in 2013 when he had proposed to federal cabinet to allow the Finance Ministry to enter into a new agreement with Swiss authorities by revisiting the previous treaty of 2005 about minimum exchange of information.

Meanwhile, opposition lawmakers staged a walkout after they were not allowed to speak on International Women's Day on Wednesday.

Dr Nafeesa Shah, on a point of order, wanted to speak on the Women's Day being observed today. The chair said the members would be allowed to speak on the day after disposing of the agenda items. However, the opposition did not agree and staged a walkout.

Talking to reporters outside Parliament House, Pakistan People's Party lawmaker Nafisa Shah said that National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq has tried to block the voice of women on International Women's Day. She said that women are facing injustice throughout the country including in parliament also. She said that the government is not looking serious in resolving the growing grievances of women.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmaker Shireen Mazari said that NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq has shown non-seriousness and had stopped the women parliamentarians to raise their issues. She also blamed the PML-N women parliamentarians for not backing their stance as they stood behind the pressure of male legislators.

JUI-F lawmaker Naeema Kishwar wished that the speaker should have permitted the women lawmakers to speak instead of moving the debate towards medicine and other issues. She said, "It is unfortunate that inequality attitude was shown towards us, moreover, women of the government benches also failed to support our stance against the injustice attitude."

Later, speaking on the Women's Day, Tahira Aurangzeb stressed the need for giving more attention to girl's education.

In the meanwhile, Abdul Sattar Bachani pointed the quorum and the chair suspended the proceedings of the House. However, the opposition members claimed that only 90 members, three short of quorum, were present in the House.

Speaking with reference to International Women's Day, the members paid tribute to the women for their contribution in parliament and other fields for the development of the country.

They said women played a crucial role in the independence of Pakistan. They also paid tribute to Benazir Bhutto and Kalsoom Nawaz. They demanded that every political party should give four percent general tickets to women in the election. They also demanded that Radio and TV channels dedicate at least one hour to educate people about women's rights. They said women were no more vulnerable as they have a forceful voice in parliament.

Those who spoke included, Tahira Bukhari, Dr Azhra Fazal, Kiran Haider, Nafeesa Khattak, Tahira Aurangzeb, Shiza Fatima, Nighat Shakeel, Asiya Nasir, Shaista Pervaiz, Naseema Hafeez, Shafqat Mahmood, Ayesha Syed, Parveen Masood Bhatti, Arif Alvi and Shazia Marri.

The House passed a unanimous resolution paying tributes to all the women who have struggled in all professions. The resolution moved by Shaista Pervaiz appreciated all the women who have contributed to the democratic struggle in the country. It condemned all acts of injustice, discrimination and violence against women.

The resolution recognized that there is still a long way to create an enabling environment conducive to the empowerment and protection of women as guaranteed by the constitution.

Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid introduced two bills in the House. They are The Constitution (Twenty-sixth Amendment) bill, 2017 for amendments in article 99 regarding rules for delegation of powers and The Constitution (Twenty-sixth Amendment) bill, 2017 for amendments in different articles relating to election reforms.



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