NA speaker asks defence minister to suspend secretary, appoint new one

DELAY IN ISSUANCE OF ARMS LICENCES TO PARLIAMENTARIANS

Directs interior secretary to issue arms licences to parliamentarians within a week.

ISLAMABAD  -  The National Assem­bly in Monday’s sitting after a long time saw uproar when a trea­sury benches member registered his com­plaint for delay in issu­ance of arms licences of parliamentarians.

PPP lawmaker went berserk at the attitude of Interior Ministry of­ficials for not cooper­ating in this regard. He was not shy to threaten to point out lack of quo­rum, sensing lack of re­quired strength in the house. Other lawmak­ers also raised concerns about their personal se­curity in wake of threats from anti-social ele­ments. They expressed annoyance over interior ministry attitude for not giving importance to their requests.

Minister for Defer­ence Khawaja Muham­mad Asif and Minister for Federal Education Rana Tanveer Hussain also joined their voices with the PPP members. “Only 15 days are left to end the government. If this attitude of bu­reaucracy continues then what will happen later,” Kh Asif said. Rana Tanveer said it was not a matter of few days rather the members had been facing the same treatment at the hands of bureaucracy for the last five years. Taking action, Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf di­rected government to suspend the federal sec­retary concerned and appoint a new official.. “If you are the govern­ment then you should establish your writ, take action and suspend secretary,” he said ask­ing defence minister to implement orders.

Asif informed the chair that he also talked to the Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and he was also surprised as to why no official attended the meeting. “We do not know as to why the is­sue is not being resolved and from where the re­sistance is coming,” he said. Speaker Raja Per­vaiz Ashraf directed the Interior Secretary to is­sue arms licences with­in a week to all those members of National Assembly (MNAs) who had applied for it. He said it could be a severe offence if the secretary did not implement gov­ernment’s instructions.

The speaker said committee was part of the Parliament and contempt of the house’s body was tantamount to contempt of the Par­liament. The Secretary should attend the meet­ing of the committee, he added. Syed Ghulam Mustafa said that they were allies of the gov­ernment and they have many reservations.

He pointed out that the House special com­mittee waited for the Secretary Interior and high officials from the ministry but none of them turned up the meeting. He said it was tantamount to the breach of privilege of the committee and the Parliament. He de­manded action against the concerned officials. Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that some licenses have been is­sued while remaining would be issued short­ly. The lawmakers in yesterday’s session spent most of the time registering concerns about bureaucracy for not listening to their problems. PPP MNA Syed Khurshid Shah of PPP on a point of order demanded of the chair to summon concerned federal secretaries at Privilege Committee’s meeting and hand them punishment for not implementing di­rectives of a Parlia­ment’s Committee on Sacked Employees.

He said the commit­tee headed by Senator Qadar Khan Mandokhel was constituted to re­instate government employees who were sacked without any justification but its de­cisions were not being given any weight.