ISLAMABAD: As the ruling coalition and the opposition traded charges in the Senate holding each other responsible for the economic meltdown, the controversy over prohibited funding echoed in the house.

The issue was raised in the house by Mini­s­ter for Climate Change Sherry Rehman.

Chiding Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Dr Shahzad Wasim for holding the present government responsible for the economic mess, the PPP senator pointed out that the PTI, which had promised to break the begging bowl, almost doubled the external debts in just less than four years in power.

Earlier, Shahzad Wasim accused the government of violating Article 73 of the Constitution by failing to lay the real budget document before the house.

JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, speaking on the situation of floods, regretted the indifferent behaviour of the federal and provincial governments as well the institutions concerned to cope with the devastating heavy rains in different parts of the country. “Where is the state, where is the government?”

He said floods had destroyed peoples’ homes, agriculture, livestock and businesses, but the state was invisible at the time of this difficulty. “Where is prime minister? Has the premier visited the flood-affected areas, including Karachi?”

He said the performance of the NDMA and provincial disaster management authorities were abysmal in this time of emergency. “These institutions have become white elephants.” He demanded that the federal and provincial governments compensate the flood-affected people.

BAP Senator Mazoor Ahmed Kakar said the floods had ruined Balochistan, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh, but politicians were busy blaming each other. He alleged that the ruling coalition was only busy protecting its government and was least concerned about the bad situation of people due to rains.

PTI Senator Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry endorsed the viewpoint of his colleagues and said the country had plunged into floods while rulers were enjoying the power. He said Karachi had sunk into water and the PPP, which had been ruling the province for 14 years, was least concerned about this situation. He accused the PPP of misappropriating public funds instead of using them to stop floods.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2022

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