ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly, sans the opposition, on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution appreciating the United Nations General Assembly on the passage of a resolution against drone strikes.
The resolution, which was moved by Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Chaudhry Birjees Tahir, appreciated the diplomatic efforts of the government to raise the issue of drone attacks in the UN. The resolution stated, “This House appreciates the efforts of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) government in the adoption of a resolution against the use of drone strikes by the UN General Assembly.”
It calls upon the United States government to immediately end drone strikes in Pakistan which, it noted, are against the international law. Though the resolution was passed unanimously, leading opposition parties Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Awami National Party (ANP) were absent as they have been boycotting the proceedings of the House for the last three days in a protest against the use of word tamasha against the opposition by Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan.
While speaking on a point of order Awais Ahmed Laghari of the PML-N welcomed the UN resolution against the drone strikes and appreciated the role of the incumbent government in this regard. He was of the view that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had raised the matter in the UN General Assembly during his visit and had lobbied his counterparts in the world body. He proposed that the House should pass a resolution to appreciate the UN.
Meanwhile, Aftab Ahmed Sherpao questioned the fate of the UN resolution, saying its success was directly linked with its implementation in letter and spirit. Sajid Ahmed of MQM, Sahibzada Tariqullah of Jamaat-e-Islami, Kishwar Zehra of the JUI-F and others also welcomed the UN resolution, saying it is a positive sign. They hoped that the resolution would be implemented.
Later, while regretting the attitude of the PPP and PTI, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said that both the parties are insisting that he withdraw a word which has been used frequently in parliamentary proceedings. He said these parties claim bringing change in the politics but are not ready to discuss issues pertaining to the common man. About the stance of some opposition parties on thumb verification process, the minister said that the government had never interfered in it.
“PPP and PTI lawmakers are getting TA/DA to participate in the proceedings of the House instead of boycotting it,” he said, adding that he wanted to conclude the debate on prevailing law and order situation in the country but could not do so in the absence of the PPP and PTI. On the request of Chaudhry Nisar, Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi said that the debate would be concluded in the next session of the National Assembly.
Minister of State for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar expressed the government’s commitment to make Pakistan a polio-free country. Responding to a call attention notice, which was moved by Zahra Wadood Fatimi‚ she said Pakistan is amongst the three countries where poliovirus still exists. She said the government is frequently launching polio eradication campaigns to rid the country of this crippling virus. However, law and order situation in FATA is hampering these efforts.
The state minister said the Taliban have imposed a ban on polio vaccination campaigns in South and North Waziristan agencies and due to this reason last twelve polio campaigns could not be conducted there. She said the parliamentarians should also become part of the vaccination campaigns for its success.
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