ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be a tit-for-tat move, the ruling PML-N on Tuesday decided to submit a reference against PTI Senator and former finance minister Shaukat Tarin for allegedly ‘working against the country’s integrity and national security’.

The announcement came hours after PTI member Zulfiqar Bukhari submitted a disqualification reference in the Natio­nal Assembly secretariat against PPP MNA Asif Zardari for allegedly receiving three bulletproof vehicles from Toshakhana in violation of the rules.

Federal Minister for Parliamentary Aff­airs Murtaza Javed Abbasi, while spe­aking on a point of order during the joint sitting of the two houses, said he would formally submit a reference with the Senate chairman to disqualify Mr Tarin.

The reference was submitted under Article 63(2) of the Constitution which seeks disqualification of a parliamentarian for being “dishonest”. Meanwhile, Mr Abbasi sought to file the reference under Article 62(1)(g) of the Constitution under which a member of the parliament can be disqualified if found guilty of “working against the integrity of the country.”

Zulfi Bukhari files reference against former president; Murtaza Javed seeks Tarin’s disqualification for ‘working against country’

Mr Abbasi referred to the leaked audio tape of a telephone conversation between Mr Tarin and Punjab Finance Minister Mohsin Leghari in which Mr Tarin purportedly asked Mr Leghari to tell the federal government that Punjab could not post a budget surplus — a major IMF demand for the bailout package — due to devastated floods.

In the same audio clip, Mr Tarin had purportedly told Mr Leghari that he had also asked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra to do the same.

Also read: PTI’s Umar and Jhagra defend Tarin-IMF audio leaks, say ‘nothing wrong’ in conversations

Mr Abbasi alleged that the conversation proved that Mr Tarin was attempting to “sabotage” the IMF deal as part of a “conspiracy” and thus, he was working against the country’s integrity and national security.

The former finance minister had hatched a conspiracy to create a Sri Lanka-like situation in Pakistan and make it default on its loans, he alleged.

In his reference, a copy of which is available with Dawn, Mr Bukhari alleged that Mr Zardari, while serving as president, retained bulletproof vehicles he had received as gifts from foreing heads of states.

This was a consequence of ‘illegal relaxation of the rules’ granted by the then prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani in February 2009, it stated.

According to Mr Bukhari, the former president had retained two BMW cars and a Toyota Lexus LX-470 gifted by then UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and former Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi.

Terrorism in KP

Earlier, speaking on a point of order, Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Hidayatullah condemned Monday’s attack on a school van in Swat and blasted the PTI’s provincial government in KP over its silence and inaction.

He asked the federal government to intervene as terrorism was again “rearing its its ugly head in the KP”.

If no action was not taken then tomorrow those living in Islamabad or Lahore would also be not safe, he warned.

Independent MNA from Waziristan Mohsin Dawar, once again, protested against the speaker for not issuing a production order incarcerated of MNA Ali Wazir.

He said PTI leader Shahbaz Gill has been granted a bail despite the fact that he had also spoken against the army. On the other hand, Mr Wazir was being discriminated against despite facing the same charges.

A number of minority lawmakers complained about alleged victimisation of the minority members in various parts of the country, particularly in Punjab.

Later ,the speaker adjourned the session till November 18 after the house passed Dyslexia Special Measures Bill 2022, Trade Organisations (Amendment) Bill 2022 and the Islamabad Capital Territory Domestic Workers Bill 2022.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2022

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