PPP seeks ‘more than due’ share in standing committees

Published May 27, 2024
ISLAMABAD: A PPP delegation, comprising Senator Sherry Rehman, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar and ex-speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, calls on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.—Courtesy PM Office
ISLAMABAD: A PPP delegation, comprising Senator Sherry Rehman, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar and ex-speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, calls on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.—Courtesy PM Office

• Wants to ‘accommodate its supporters’ as chairmen
• PM urged to allocate funds for flood-hit Sindh
• Qatar, Kuwait emirs accept invitations to visit Pakistan

ISLAM­ABAD/KARA­CHI: The PPP, a key ally of the PML-N-led coalition government in Centre, has demanded a bigger share of the pie of parliamentary committees and more federal money for Sindh, a party source told Dawn.

The party — which agreed to support the federal government in the National Assembly and Senate without seeking any ministries — insisted on chairing more committees in the two houses than its due share as per its seats.

The fresh demands were made by senior PPP leadership during a meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday.

The PM “has assured us to look into all proposals”, claimed the PPP source privy to the discussions.

The source added that as per the number of its seats, PPP would get to chair 11 standing committees, “but it wants 12”.

Currently, the party has 24 seats in the upper house of parliament, as per the information available on the Senate’s website.

“We are not sure about the exact numbers in the National Assembly but there too, the PPP expects more,” the source said.

The reason, as explained by the source, was that PPP wanted to “accommodate” its own political partners who “support it in different ways”.

More money for Sindh

The PPP delegation also demanded that “special funds” be allocated in the next federal budget for Sindh’s flood-affected areas.

Several rehabilitation projects, approved in the last budget, couldn’t be executed after the caretaker administration took charge in August 2023, the source said, adding that rising inflation has made it challenging for the provincial government to handle the situation without the Centre’s support.

The PPP delegation, which comprised Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sherry Rehman and Syed Naveed Qamar, also conveyed its reservations over the proposed amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca), according to a source in the PM Office.

PM Shehbaz has alrea­dy formed an eight-member committee, head­ed by Rana Sanaullah, to deve­lop political consensus on the proposed amendments and submit recommendations in 15 days.

On May 9, the PM app­roved the amendments to set up a Digital Rights Pro­tection Agency under Peca to regulate social media.

An official release by the PMO said the PPP delegation “discussed the upcoming budget 2024-25”.

Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Adviser to PM on Political Affairs Rana Sanaullah and Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarrar also attended the meeting.

PM thanks Norwegian counterpart

Also on Sunday, PM Shehbaz called his Norwe­gian counterpart, Jonas Gahr Store, to convey “his deep appreciation for Norway’s landmark decision to recognise the State of Palestine”.

He said Norway’s “principled decision” would send “a strong message of hope and solidarity to the brave Palestinian people who have been enduring Israel’s brutality”.

He also welcomed the ICJ’s recent ruling on Rafah and Gaza and called for its full and effective implementation.

The two leaders reiterated their commitment to strengthening bilateral ties in various sectors, including trade, investment, education, and renewable energy.

Kuwait, Qatar emirs accept invitation

The emirs of Kuwait and Qatar have accepted PM Shehbaz’s invitation to visit Pakistan.

This was conveyed by the two countries’ ambassadors, who held separate meetings with the PM on Sunday.

They presented the letters of their respective leaders, confirming their acceptance of an invitation to visit Pakistan.

The PM also reaffirmed “Pakistan’s support for the Chinese stance on Taiwan”.

“As an iron brother and a strategic partner of China, Pakistan has always extended its principled support to the Chinese position on Taiwan and will continue to do so,” the PM wrote on his official X account.

He said the “so-called elections or transition of the self-proclaimed government in Taiwan did not change the objective facts on the Taiwan issue”.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2024

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