Ministers absence during question hour: Opposition walks out of NA
* Achackzai wants house briefed on Wana operation
By Mohammad Imran
ISLAMABAD: Opposition members and one treasury member walked out of the National Assembly (NA) on Friday during the question-answer session, protesting some ministers’ failure to reply to questions about the performance of the ministries and the government departments.
The ministers were absent when the issue was discussed.
Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) Khurshid Ahmed Shah, on a point of order, said that ministers were not taking the question hour seriously and did not answer the queries.
Treasury member Akbar Khan also protested claiming that the written reply to his question was inadequate.
Mehmood Khan Achackzai, on a point or order, said that the government was not taking the question hour seriously. He said that ministers were avoiding answering the members’ questions. “As many as 18 questions were deferred while six questions were not answered during the last session which shows that the government was ignoring the house.”
Mr Achackzai said that the members’ only source of information on the Wana military operation was the western media. He demanded the government brief the house on Wana situation. “If the government does not want to brief us then what is the duty of this house and why are we sitting here?” he added.
NA Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain said the interior minister should brief the house on Wana operation and the government should consult the house.
MNA Pervez Malik said that the federal government development schemes were doing fine, but the provincial governments were not executing the schemes proposed by the opposition members.
Minister of State for Environment and Local Government Maj (r) Tahir Iqbal said the federal government had nothing to do with the provincial development schemes.
The NA speaker also asked the parliamentary secretary to ask the commerce secretary that why they did not reply the MNAs’ queries.
Replying to a question about the World Trade Organisation, the petroleum and natural resources minister suggested a house debate on the issue. Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar also supported the idea. The speaker nominated federal petroleum and natural resources minister and commerce minister form government side and Khurshid Shah, Hafiz Hussain Ahmed and Naveed Qamar to decide on the date about debate.
Answering a question by Khuda Bukhsh Nizamani, the commerce parliamentary secretary said the cotton import was allowed.