Government comes under ‘friendly fire’ in NA

Published October 21, 2021
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan speaks in the National Assembly on Wednesday. — Photo via NA of Pakistan Twitter
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan speaks in the National Assembly on Wednesday. — Photo via NA of Pakistan Twitter

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government on Wednesday came under “friendly fire” in the National Assembly, with lawmakers from within the ruling alliance, and hailing from all the three provinces ruled by it, criticising it for its failure on different fronts.

Sardar Riaz Mehmood Mazari, a PTI legislator from Sadiqabad (Rahim Yar Khan), berated the federal and Punjab governments for failure to maintain law and order in his constituency.

Speaking on a point of order, he said he had even met Prime Minister Imran Khan four times and director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, to apprise them of the deteriorating law and order situation in areas bordering Sindh and Balochistan, but to no avail.

He said 10 people had been killed recently in broad daylight in the area while only three fatalities had taken place there over the last six months. He said incidents of robbery had never taken place in the past.

Cryptocurrency not to be introduced in haste, house told

He said that some of the incidents were attributed to the Balochistan Liberation Army and others to dacoits coming over from Sindh.

Mr Mazari said that in an effort to stop such incidents from happening again, he had met every top personality except Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

He had promised to the people of his constituency during his election campaign that he would ensure peace in the area and availability of water, he said. “I receive messages on WhatsApp each day from the people who ask me about the unfulfilled promises.

“I will let you know later what words they use while mentioning the government,” Mr Mazari said.

He went on to say that the people of his constituency only wanted peace. “Is it too much for this government?”

Earlier, Shazia Marri of the PPP Parliamentarians raised the issue of killing of nine villagers in Sadiqabad tehsil of Rahimyar Khan district. She said it was a serious issue and that the government and law enforcement agencies should spring into action to improve the situation immediately.

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said her village was also situated in the district, adding that dacoits usually came from Kashmore area and were being “patronised by the Sindh police”.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said the government was doing its best to ensure protection of the lives and properties of citizens.

Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri referred the issue to the standing committee of the house on interior.

Junaid Akbar, a PTI lawmaker from Batkhela, warned that not only the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), but the entire country would be affected adversely if the promises made to the people of the region were not fulfilled.

He said commitments for tax exemption and other incentives had been made on the floor of the house, and underlined the need to punish those responsible for non-implementation of the promised measures.

Another lawmaker suggested that a ministry be set up in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to look into the affairs of the erstwhile Fata.

Agha Hasan Baloch, information secretary of the Balochistan National Party and chairman of the standing committee on inter-provincial coordination, raised the issue of human rights violations in his province.

He said even women and children were not being spared now in the province which has seen five operations. “People must be given the right to live,” he said.

He alleged that members of the provincial assembly had been “added to the list of missing persons” and said they included two women lawmakers.

The lower house of parliament, meanwhile, was informed that the government was open to new technologies but would not introduce cryptocurrency in haste.

Responding to a call-attention notice about non-formulation of a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency in the country, Minister of State Ali Muhammad Khan said: “We will tread the path carefully. We do not want to take a risk.”

He said the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was of the opinion that any step towards introduction of cryptocurrency in Pakistan must be taken after thorough examination of its pros and cons, to avoid undue losses to the entities regulated by it and the depositors. Any misstep could threaten financial stability and create risk.

He said one of the problems involved was that there was no central issuer and no guarantee jurisdiction. He, however, said the SBP was in liaison with international stakeholders on the matter.

Usama Qadri of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement pointed out that the number of people using cryptocurrency had grown from just 30,000 in 2013 to 56 million in 2021.

He said that India had established four cryptocurrency exchanges.

He was of the view that youths would not be in need of jobs if cryptocurrency was introduced in the country.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2021

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