The opposition political parties staged a token walkout from Senate on Friday to protest unscheduled load-shedding especially in Sindh and also against Chairman Wapda for his campaign in favour of Kalabagh dam’s construction.
Senator Mukhtar Damrah of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), while speaking on a point of public importance, said that Wapda [Water and Power Development Authority] chairman Zafar Mahmood, had undertaken the gigantic task of paving way for construction of Kalabagh dam, which according to the Senator was something “too heavy for the weak shoulders of a tiny government employee.”
Meanwhile, Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani on the demand of an opposition lawmaker directed the Senate Secretariat to make public the details of all official gifts on the official website while reflecting their value.
“I have personally deposited all official gifts in the Tosha Kana and I have also purchased some of them,” said Rabbani, adding, “The details of all the gifts will be made public on the Senate website.”
Earlier, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, while speaking on a point of public importance, demanded that complete details of the official gifts received by government functionaries and subsequently kept in the Tosha Kana, under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division, should be made public through their official websites.
“The websites should reflect the details of the value of the gift and the name of the recipient and name of the government functionary if any one purchased it,” he demanded, saying that official gifts were used to be the property of the state.
He said that the official website of Indian External Affairs Ministry had all the details of the gifts received by its state dignitaries from foreign countries during their visits.
Responding to a call attention notice by Senator Sassui Palejo of the PPP, Federal Law and Justice Minister Zahid Hamid said that 7th NFC (National Finance Commission) Award had not expired and that would remain enforced till the announcement of a new award as it had been given legal cover through a presidential ordinance.
“It is wrong to say that the smaller provinces are being pushed toward the wall by not announcing the new award,” he said adding that the NFC had begun its work and the provinces would get their due share under the 7th NFC till the announcement of the new one.
The Senate chairman remarked that the provinces had reservations on delay of the NFC award, as their share would accordingly increase under the new award. Earlier, Palejo said there was frustration amongst smaller provinces including Sindh because of the delay in the announcement of new NFC Award.
She alleged that all resources of the federal government had been diverted towards Punjab. She also pointed out that the government was making unnecessary delay in holding the census.
Senator Hafiz Hamdullah of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) demanded that the House should pass a resolution demanding the US or Nato to compensate the heirs of those killed in more than 400 drone attacks in Pakistan.
While citing some media reports, he said that 4000 innocent people were killed in the US drone attacks in tribal areas of Pakistan, adding that if the US could permit the victims of 9/11 to demand compensation from Saudi Arabia, why Pakistan could not make a similar move. -Business Recorder