ISLAMABAD: On the opening day of its winter session on Monday, Senate, the upper house of parliament, unanimously adopted four resolutions, including the one calling upon the government to include Keti Bunder Port a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Earlier, the Senate welcomed the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) senators who returned to the house after 11 weeks and participated in the proceedings after withdrawing their resignations which they had submitted in August as a mark of protest against alleged victimisation of the party by Rangers in Karachi.

Also read :MQM withdraws resignations, announces to rejoin parliament

Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani in his ruling regarding acceptance or otherwise of the MQM senators’ resignations, said that the verification of resignations was to take place after completion of 40 consecutive days of house proceedings. Till Monday only 13 consecutive days had lapsed.

About non-participation of MQM members in proceedings of the house, the chairman said they could seek condonation of their absence if they so desired.

The resolution asking the government to connect Keti Bunder Port in Sindh to Karachi-Lahore Motorway was moved by Sassui Palijo of the PPP.

“This House recommends that the government should include the Keti Bunder Port, Sindh, in the CPEC in the light of Articles 37 and 38 of the Principles of Policy of the Constitution as discussed by the CPEC Special Committee and its recommendations for reducing the gap between the developed and underdeveloped areas of Pakistan,” says the resolution read out by Ms Palijo.

“Connecting the Keti Bunder Port to Karachi-Lahore Motorway would give an unprecedented boost to national economy due to it being a deep sea port, close proximity to Karachi and direct access to Thar Coal project,” says the resolution.

Through two resolutions moved by Kalsoom Parveen of the PML-N, the Senate “called upon the government to announce concession in customs duty and taxes for importers of the province of Balochistan” and urged “the government to take effective steps to ensure the completion of all remaining projects envisaged and promised under the Aaghaz-i-Huqooq-i-Balochistan Package”.

The Senate also passed a resolution moved by Sardar Azam Musakhel of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party urging the government to immediately fill all the vacant posts in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), Islamabad.

The Senate chairman referred a bill moved by PPP’s Taj Haider seeking to curtail the powers of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to the standing committee concerned after it was not opposed by the government.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2015

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