ISLAMABAD: Barbs flew during a tumultuous Senate session on Monday when the house met for the first time after ouster of the PTI-led government.
The disorder came after the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf alleged that certain members of the present set-up had acted as “facilitators for a foreign power” to remove the Imran Khan-led government while the PML-N asked it to stop mourning the ouster and answer questions about its 44 months in power.
The PTI members kept on raising slogans against the government throughout the session despite repeated warnings by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani.
At the very outset of the first session of the new parliamentary year, Leader of the Opposition Dr Shahzad Waseem said Imran Khan’s government was removed because he had refused to compromise on the national interests for the benefit of any other country.
JUI-F raises forest fire issue, NP calls for negotiations to address Balochistan’s grievances
He said the former prime minister had refused to give bases to a certain superpower and to accept India’s hegemony. Imran Khan also turned down “orders about where to go and where not to”, Dr Waseem added.
He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Peoples Party had their “own compulsions as their leaders have money and properties abroad”.
Dr Waseem said all this happened at a time when economy was stabilising on the back of record remittances, tax collection and exports.
Amidst slogans of “imported government not acceptable”, the PTI leader said it was unfortunate that “a man who should have been indicted over corruption” had been installed as prime minister.
He alleged that criminals were being provided security while no steps had been taken for protecting former prime minister Imran Khan even though his “life is in danger”. “God forbid, if anything happens to him, the responsibility shall lie on the government,” Shahzad Waseem warned.
He alleged that at a time of financial crunch a swimming pool was being constructed at a cost of Rs 100 million.
Azam Nazir Tarar, the Leader of the House in Senate, lambasted the PTI members who kept on thumping their desks throughout his speech, saying that only those who have no argument behave like this.
Azam Tarar accused the PTI of trying to distort facts by claiming its government had been removed illegally. He said the PTI cannot hide its sins by going on the offensive, accusing it of playing havoc with the economy. He contested Imran Khan’s claims that his government had “broken the begging bowl” and preferred suicide over the IMF’s bailout package.
He said even the PTI’s allies had parted ways with it because of its flawed policies.
At one stage Azam Tarar called upon PTI members to end their desk-thumping so that an important issue could be taken up.
The matter pertained to the raging forest fire in Sherani district of Balochistan.
Senator Kamran Murtaza of the JUI-F regretted that 14 days had gone by, but the fire was still ravaging the pine nut forest, which generated a revenue of Rs 4 billion annually.
The National Party’s Senator Tahir Bizenjo called for negotiations to address Balochistan’s grievances. About missing persons, he said while those who have committed crimes should be punished, innocent individuals should be immediately released.
Drawing attention of the House towards the suicide attack on Karachi university campus last month, he said no “political person” would support such attacks. “But it was a reaction to the crisis simmering in the province for decades.”
Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2022