ISLAMABAD - The opposition parties in the National Assembly Wednesday urged the government to take the House into confidence on the important issues including Taliban office in Doha, Line of Control situation, dialogue with Taliban and Pakistan's stance if US launches action against Syria.
A senior legislator from treasury benches giving one-by-one short response to the issues though assured that Advisor to PM on Foreign and Security Affairs Sartaj Aziz would take the House into confidence yet he did not mention proper timeline in this regard.
Seemingly unsatisfied from the government's response on all important matters and not giving proper timeline for their queries, the opposition parties including PPP, PTI, MQM, JI and AML staged walkout from the House and termed it non-serious attitude of treasury benches.
Leader of Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah, on a point of order, raised four important issues with the demand from the government to take the House into confidence in the current session.
"What is the position of Taliban office in Doha?, What is the situation of LOC ?, What is the status of National Security Council and future of Pakistan steel mills," PPP's senior lawmaker raising four queries demanded.
Sartaj Aziz should come and take the House into confidence, he said.
Adding one more demand, another opposition party member from PTI Shah Mehmood Qureshi strongly supported the PPP's demand for taking the House into confidence on such important matters. He raised a point that what would be the government's stance if the US forces launch a military action against Syria.
Shah said that there was some speculation that US was intending to take some important decision about Syria. He said that the House should be taken into confidence in the current session as the issue would be redundant if discussed in next session.
PPP's legislator Syed Naveed Qamar, on a point of order, said that the government should give proper response on all these issues in next two days, as the House will prorogue in this week.
Taking the floor, AML's chief Sheikh Rashid said that the government should give proper response on all these important issues. "Advisor to PM should take the House into confidence," he said. The lawmaker from Rawalpindi later left the proceedings of the House in protest against the government's apathy. "Not more than 20 lawmakers from treasury are present in the House, so I would not make more speech," he added.
On his turn, MQM legislator Asif Hasnain said that the government should take the Indian aggression along LoC seriously. Demanding government response, he also raised bit different issues including NDMA's performance to cope with floods, petrol prices, etc.
Having same concerns and demand from government, JI's MNA Tariq Ullah also endorsed the point raised by leader of opposition.
Giving response to the concerns raised from the opposition benches, Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanver Hussain, sans giving timeline, assured the government would take the House into confidence on all these important matters. "Advisor to PM on Foreign and Security Affairs Sartaj Aziz would come and take the House into confidence on these matters," he assured.
The Minister, in response to the query about Doha talks, said that Pakistan wants some positive breakthrough in order to maintain peace in Afghanistan.
About the LoC issue, he said that Pakistan was using both diplomatic and military channels to normalize the border situation. "We are a peaceful nation and need peace in the region...We are well aware how to protect our country," he said adding that Pakistan wants good relations with countries particularly with neighbours.
Meanwhile, a bill, presented by PML-N's lawmaker Zahid Hamid, to amend the constitution (twenty-third amendment,2013) was introduced in the House. The statement of objects and reasons informed that in order to provide opportunity and representation to all classes of persons and areas in service clause (1) of the said article provides that for a period not exceeding 40 from the commencing day of the constitution, certain posts may be reserved for persons belonging to any class or areas. "It has been felt that since equal opportunity of education and other facilities are not yet available to all citizen of Pakistan, the period of forty specified in clause (10 of article 27 may be extended to sixty year.
A member from government benches Naeema Kishwar from JUI-F, on a point of order, appreciated the incumbent government on Cabinet's decision to sign the Council of Europe Convention for facilitating the repatriation of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, imprisoned in a US prison.
Earlier, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab during the question-hour said that the government has decided to give voting right to overseas Pakistanis. "The bill in this regard would be tabled before the House," he informed. To another question, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi informed the house that the federal government has signed agreements with six domestic and six foreign companies for exploration of Oil and Gas during the last five years.
The Minister further informed that during last one year a total of 97 oil wells were drilled, including 24 wells by the OGDCL, six by PPL, while other companies' collectively drilled 67 wells.
About the construction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Pakistan, the minister said, tendering process was underway and terminal would be operational by November 1, 2014.
To another question, the minister said that SNGPL had sustained Rs 15 billion losses on the account of gas theft. The government had introduced comprehensive measures to curb the gas theft and during the past six weeks 300 first information reports (FIRs) had been registered in this regard, he added.