ISLAMABAD: The Senate may discuss on the opening day of its winter session on Monday a statement of the Indian prime minister in which he admitted his country’s role in the breakup of Pakistan in 1971.

A motion seeking discussion on the Indian leader’s controversial remarks during his visit to Bangladesh in June has been submitted by PPP’s former interior minister Rehman Malik.

It is part of the 17-point agenda for the private member’s day.

“This house may discuss the confession of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bangladesh that India played a role in breaking Pakistan,” the motion said.

Mr Modi, while receiving the ‘liberation war honour’ on behalf of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, had said that he was one of the activists who reached Delhi in response to Mr Vajpayee’s call for “Satyagraha for the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971” and that like millions of other Indians he wanted this vision realised.

Mr Modi also accused Pakistan of stirring trouble in India.

The senators talked about the remarks on a number of occasions during debates on Pakistan-India relations and foreign affairs ministry also issued a reaction, but this is for the first time that the Senate will hold a debate on the issue.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz is likely to respond to the speeches of senators.

Meanwhile, a minister will present a report on the relief work carried out by the federal government after the Oct 26 earthquake.

The report was sought by Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani through a letter to the minister in charge for climate change.

Mr Rabbani had also sought reports from the governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab on the steps taken to provide relief to people in the quake-affected areas. The provinces may submit the reports anytime during the session, which is expected to last 10 days.

Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2015

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