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Bilawal reiterates demand for production orders for MNAs Mohsin Dawar, Ali Wazir

Updated May 31, 2019

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PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday raised questions over the absence of production orders for MNAs Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar. ─ DawnNewsTV
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday raised questions over the absence of production orders for MNAs Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar. ─ DawnNewsTV

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday objected to the absence of production orders for MNAs Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, who were taken into custody earlier this week over their involvement in the North Waziristan Kharqamar check post incident, and reiterated his demand for their issuance.

Addressing a press conference outside the National Assembly in Islamabad, the PPP chairman said he had written a letter to NA Speaker Asad Qaiser demanding that production orders should be issued for the MNAs.

Bilawal said that despite having evidence that the letter was received, "today in the NA we were lied to and told that they did not get this letter."

He raised the demand for issuance of the production order again, saying that the parliament should follow its own rules and laws.

Bilawal, in his letter, had stated that as per Rules 103 and 105 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the NA, the relevant authorities must immediately inform the speaker of the arrest of any member of the Lower House on criminal charges, and the speaker must then announce it to the assembly in session, or via circulation if the assembly is not in session.

However, he said, the House was not informed about the arrest of Wazir on criminal charges, nor was his production order issued. He added that although PPP MNA Naveed Qamar had formally raised the issue, his plea was ignored.

Ruckus in NA

The NA session earlier today was adjourned indefinitely as a ruckus broke out between the government and opposition members after a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf lawmaker's fiery comments ─ apparently referring to the arrested MNAs ─ resulted in protests by the opposition.

PML-N leader Khurram Dastagir had raised questions over a lack of progress in the probe into the abduction and murder of Superintendent of Police Tahir Dawar, whose body had been recovered from Afghanistan in November 2018 and handed over to Pakistani authorities.

"It has been nine months since, but the government is yet to provide any information about his killers," he regretted. "On whose hands should we seek his blood?" he asked.

Minister of State for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Shehryar Afridi ─ who had been part of the delegation receiving SP Dawar's body ─ told the house that Afghan intelligence had wanted to hand over SP Dawar's body to Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader Manzoor Pashteen.

He told his colleagues that SP Dawar had been targeting in three separate attacks, and that his brother had also been killed.

"At the time we were receiving his body [at the border], the Pakistani flag was also disrespected," he claimed, adding: "I cannot share in this House the things that were said against Pakistan."

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan chimed in with a fiery speech, saying that "lawmakers who are the reason behind the discord in the House have no right to remain in the NA".

Following Khan's remarks, the opposition and government lawmakers surrounded the speaker's dais. The opposition protested against Khan's comments, while the treasury members directed their protest against Karachi's water shortage towards the opposition members.

A day after the Kharqamar check post incident, PML-N MNA Khawaja Asif urged lawmakers to play their role in the political resolution to the complaints of tribal areas' residents and suggested the formation of a parliamentary committee to probe their grievances.

13 people were killed and 25 others were injured in an exchange of fire in North Waziristan's Boyya area, when the Kharqamar check post was attacked during a protest on Sunday, in which PTM members were also participating.