ISLAMABAD - The last day of National Assembly’s eleventh session was almost completely dominated by opposition parties, as treasury benches could not effectively defend them against severe criticism on the issue of power shortage.
The house, which saw maximum presence on government benches the other day (Thursday), ostensibly due to arrival appearance of PM Nawaz Sharif after over two months, gave a deserted look.
Giving the harsh criticism by the opposition, Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, at the fag end of the proceeding, had no option but to prorogue two-week long session as an opposition lawmaker after making her speech pointed out quorum sensing thin presence in the House.
The third largest opposition party (MQM) on last day of current parliamentary year also made a hat-trick of its walkouts (with two walkouts in last two days) against non-issuance of NICOP and passport to party chief Altaf Hussain.
Taking part in debate on loadshedding, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Sahibaza Tariq Ullah said incumbent government could not bring any positive change to overcome power outages. He also condemned a private TV channel’s program telecasted a couple of days before, which triggered a controversy. “Complete inquiry should be marked on this issue, as today protesters are on roads in different parts of country,” he added.
Independent MNA Jamshed Dasti also tried to speak on the issue but the chair did not give him floor to share his point of view. Both government and a private channel are hand in gloves on different matters, he remarked, but it could not become part of the proceeding, as his mike was off. PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai finally intervened in the matter and successfully cooled down Dasti, who was apparently in a mood to launch a strong tirade against government.
Taking the floor, PPP MNA Syed Naveed Qamar said transferring gas from CNG and industry to power plants is a temporary arrangement. “There is need of a permanent solution to overcome loadshedding,” he said, adding that government has still not taken any measures to control the menace as holy month of Ramadan is approaching.
AML chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad came down hard on government for not fulfilling its claim of ending loadshedding even after over a year. “Parliamentary year has ended but issues including loadshedding, talks with Taliban, gas outage etc could not be handled by government.” PPP lawmaker Shagufta Jumani, on the same issue, strongly criticised federal government. “This government could not fulfil its tall claims.” Deputy Speaker switched off her mike in an attempt to give floor to Federal Minister Khwaja Asif to wind up debate on loadshedding. PPP lawmaker, in a reaction, hurriedly pointed out quorum and the chair apparently was left with no option but prorogue the session.
Earlier, Syed Asif Hussain of MQM once again raised the matter of NICOP and passport of his party’s chief Altaf Hussain. “Government is making excuses that data has been misplaced,” he said, and walked out of the house along with his party’s colleagues. Responding to the concern raised by MQM’s lawmaker, State Minister Abid Sher Ali said a procedure has been put in place in respect of the person who has quit the citizenship of Pakistan. “Everyone has to follow law and constitution,” he added.
JUI-F chief Fazlur Rahman, on point of order, drew the attention of the House towards curfew imposed in North Waziristan. “Curfew was imposed for last 8 days. “What was reason behind it,” he asked. He sought explaining the reason behind imposing travel ban on Pakistan in connection with Polio cases. He also condemned the controversial private TV channel program.