Shibli accuses govt of taking adverse actions against PTI

Claims party’s secretariat demolished on govt’s directives

Law minister says CDA responsible to ensure discipline of federal capital under certain rules and laws.

ISLAMABAD   -   Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shibli Faraz on Friday lashed out at the ruling coalition in the centre for allegedly taking adverse actions against his party PTI with a recent one against its Central Secretariat in Islamabad. The opposition leader in his charged speech also accused Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar for leading an anti-judiciary campaign forcing the latter to “take serious exception” to his remarks.

His statement came in the upper house of the parliament a day after local authorities and police of the capital city razed a part of the PTI’s Central Secretariat building before sealing the premises for allegedly violating building by-laws.

Speaking in the Senate, Senator Shibli said that political vendetta had come to a point that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) demolished the PTI office while workers were baton-charged and head of the party’s Islamabad chapter, Amir Mughal, was arrested.

He further said that all this was being done on the dictation of the treasury, which was being written in history. “After failing to compete with the PTI, its ideology and its chairman, they have resorted to such strange tactics,” he said.

He warned that these adverse actions were not helping the country’s democracy to flourish, noting that political instability was the main reason behind Pakistan’s poor economic indicators.

He added that the country couldn’t achieve political stability in the present situation and talked about an attack on the party’s information secretary in Islamabad.

In his tit for tat response, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar highlighted that CDA was bound to keep the discipline of the city under certain rules and laws. He said that the house standing committee on interior led by PTI Senator Mohsin Aziz had also ordered an anti-encroachment drive in the city.

Senator Tarar, who also holds the portfolio of parliamentary affairs minister, said multiple notices had been sent to PTI, first in 2020 when the party itself was in the government, about the encroachments it had made in its secretariat.

He said that even last year, PTI was reminded that it had constructed two floors in the building without a map and approval, besides placing containers and setting-up a parking shed in a public area and the same should be removed

Noting that the last notice was sent on May 10 this year, the law minister said the action on the PTI office was in accordance with the law. He added PTI had a remedy to challenge the notice and it did not do so.

Responding to the opposition leader’s allegation that Tarar was involved in leading a campaign against judges of the superior judiciary, the law minister said he owned every word he made about judges on the floor of the house in the last sitting.

Responding to a call attention about limited supply of electricity, only for three hours per day, to the tubewells in Balochistan leading to destruction of agriculture, Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmad Leghari told the house that electricity theft was the main cause of load shedding in the province.

The power minister said that over 27,000 tubewells were operating on as many as 404 power feeders in Balochistan. He added that people have installed 12,000 illegal electricity transformers on these feeders, which were running on 96 percent losses. He said that these losses could be translated into 80 billion rupees when the government provided electricity to these tubewells for six hours a day.

Awais informed the house that Balochistan had to pay an outstanding amount of Rs 641 billion in electricity bills to the federal government. He said that the federal government had finalized a plan to shift these tubewells to solar energy by funding Rs 2 million for each power connection from its own pocket but the provincial government has yet to make a distribution mechanism.

The minister concluded by saying that officials of power distribution companies were involved in over billing and electricity theft.

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