Assembly condemns US drone hit

LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly yesterday unanimously passed a resolution condemning US drone strike inside Pakistani territory believed to have killed Afghan Taliban chief Mulla Akhtar Mansour.

Opposition Leader Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed (of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) presented the resolution that was passed unanimously by the House.

Condemning the strike in Noushki, Balochistan, the resolution termed the strike challenge to sovereignty and independence of Pakistan. The resolution demanded the federal government to summon the US ambassador and record protest against the aggression.

Earlier, the session started two hours beyond the scheduled time with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair.

During Question Hour on Revenue and Colonies, the chair pended five questions relating to illegal occupation of government land for lack of reply from the department. On reservations of legislators on lack of interest on the part of the officials to share details of land grabbing with the House, the chair directed action against responsible.

On submitting wrong answer to the question of Amjad Ali Javed, the chair referred the issue to the relevant committee with the direction to submit report within two months.

Parliamentary Secretary Revenue Zahid Akram and Parliamentary Secretary Colonies Nazia Raheel responded to the queries relating to their respective departments.

Opening debate on wheat procurement, Minister Food Bilal Yasin said that so far the government has procured 40 lakh metric ton wheat directly from the growers. He said that said that farmers were given 10 jute bags each this year.

He said that there was no role of middle man and four lakh growers were direct beneficiaries of record wheat procurement during the last 30 days. He said that centres have been established at district, union council and food centre level to facilitate the farmers.

The minister said that officials of relevant department were holding meetings at district level on daily basis to evaluate the process. He said that Chief Minister Punjab was personally monitoring the entire process. He said that 1400 complaints were received this year.

He said that all the complaints were redressed immediately. He said that Anti Corruption Department has also registered one FIR on complaint of a grower. Minister Food said that he has visited different parts of the province along with high officials and redressed complaints of farmers.

The minister said that all efforts were made tpo solve legitimate demands of the growers. He said that the government would make sincere efforts to minimize difficulties of growers in selling wheat next year.

Meanwhile, US officials maintained they had no definitive proof of Mansour’s death in multiple strikes, authorised by President Barack Obama, in the remote Pakistani town of Ahmad Wal in Balochistan.

A statement, issued by Pakistan's Foreign Office late Sunday, said one of the victims of the attack was a driver named Muhammad Azam while the identity of the second "is being verified".

But Afghanistan's main spy agency and the country's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah asserted that Mansour had been killed in the attack.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt