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Treasury aims at drones through resolution

Updated August 24, 2013

LAHORE, Aug 23: The Punjab Assembly passed a resolution on Friday against drone attacks by the United States in the tribal areas urging the federal government to continue its efforts to end the strikes.

The resolution was tabled by Law Minister Rana Sanaullah.

“The house declares the drone attacks a violation of fundamental human rights and independence, sovereignty, security and solidarity of Pakistan,” says the resolution.

“The house considers the strikes violations of international laws too,” the law minister said.

He said the federal government should take up the issue with the US authorities.

“This chapter should be closed so that the US and Pakistan find new avenues that promote respect and equality between the two sides. The House also appreciates Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s clear stance on the issue and supports government’s efforts. A national consensus on the important issue must be initiated,” Mr Sanaullah said reading the resolution.

The strong-worded resolution failed to impress the opposition.

Jamaat-i-Islami’s Dr Syed Waseem Akhtar criticised the treasury for not including the stance of his party and other opposition members in the resolution.

He said they had asked those drafting the resolution to include this point: ‘The federal government should order the Pakistan army to shoot down drones’ but the treasury did not entertain their point’.

“The fate of this resolution will be the same as of others presented and adopted by previous assemblies,” he said.

During the Question-Answer Hour, opposition members observed a token walkout over Finance Minister Shujaur Rehman’s reply on the interest-based financial system. JI’s Waseem Akhtar cited the Holy Quran to make his point against the system and requested other opposition members to observe a token walkout. Mr Rehman said the federal government could decide banking and financial policies.

Another opposition member, Ahsan Riaz Fatiana criticized Environment Minister Shuja Khanzada’s reply on the dumping of industrial waste in the Samundari drain. The opposition, including PTI’s Murad Raas, criticised the government for initiating debate in 2013 over the Punjab Pension Fund Report of 2010.

“As we have certain reservations over fund’s operating cost, administrative and logistic expenses, the report should have been debated earlier and not now keeping in view a massive delay,” Mr Raas said.

The speaker adjourned the session till Monday, 3pm.