ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly on Monday was warned by a PML-Q lawmaker against threats to the country’s sovereignty due to the arrival a United Nations (UN) working group on involuntary disappearances in Balochistan.
Raza Hayat Hiraj, on a point of order, termed the issuance of visas to the visiting team as a big question on the performance of Foreign Office.
“This is a question of the country’s sovereignty,” he said, raising serious concern on the arrival of UN team, and added that a committee should be formed to ascertain the mandate of the mission.
Hiraj also termed it an intervention into the internal matters of country. “I am ready to bring adjournment motion on it. This is a serious issue and should be discussed in detail,” he added.
He further said the parliamentary committee on Balochistan issue was working on the matter and the apex court had already taken cognizance of it.
The PML-Q leader said around 99 per cent people in Balochistan supported the Federation and there might be one per cent whose families would be abroad. He doubted that the team members might meet the visitors and highlight negative feeling about Federation.
Kashmir Affairs Minister Mian Manzoor Wattoo supported Hiraj and said an adjournment motion should be brought for a detailed discussion.
It is relevant to mention that the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances is undertaking its first visit to Pakistan from 10 to 20 September 2012 on the invitation of the government.
During the mission, the UN experts will gather information on cases of enforced disappearances. They will also study the measures adopted by the state to prevent and eradicate enforced disappearances, including issues related to truth, justice and reparation for the victims of enforced disappearances.
PML-N senior leader Khawaja Saad Rafique, on a point of order, raised serious concerns over the refusal to allow the trial of three retired military officials in the National Logistics Cell (NLC) scam.
“Are those officials above the law,” PML-N leader posed question from military leadership and also strongly termed it as unjust and unfair. He further said a proper notice should be taken on the issue.
He also questioned the restoration of those services of retired army officers. “Why a civilian institution could not hold the army generals accountable. Civilian institutions should have held the officers accountable,” he said, adding that the accountability bill should be given proper shape before the end of incumbent assembly.
The legislators from different factions also raised concerns for cutting electricity of servant quarters of Parliament Lodges even after payment of bills. On it, Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi added that a special meeting would discuss the matter tomorrow to ascertain real reasons behind it.
Earlier, PPP legislator Jamshed Dasti said rains had devastated DG Khan, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur districts, but the Punjab government had failed to redress the matter. He further said that he had written a letter to Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, requesting him to public the report but to no avail.
Responding to a matter raised on call attention notice regarding allotment of commercial plots by CDA to its favourites without inviting tenders, Parliamentary Secretary Cabinet Division Mian Khurram Wattoo said the matter was currently pending with the Prime Minister’s Office.
The MNAs from different political parties raised concern that Capital Development Authority (CDA) should generate its own income and stop selling the plots for generating money. They said the rural areas of the city should also be included in limits of municipal as these localities were giving more profit than the others.
In response to a call-attention notice regarding non-payment of funds to the Erra due to which work on development schemes has stopped, Wattoo admitted some of the areas were suffering due to prolonged delay. “The Erra is working on 3370 projects and it has completed 8890 projects,” he added.
The house also adopted a motion regarding the delay in the presentation of the report of the standing committee on the bill further to amend the Pakistan Coinage Act,1906 (The Pakistan Coinage (Amendment) bill,2010).
Agencies add: The UN mission members held meetings with the Foreign Office senior officials and Justice (r) Javed Iqbal, the head of the judicial commission on missing persons.
During the interactions, the UN team was briefed on the progress made to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, the mission told the Pakistani authorities that the 28 cases sent by the UN could not be verified.