ISLAMABAD: Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Ahmed Shah said on Friday that the military would be blamed if the government’s negotiations with the Taliban end in failure.
Speaking in the house, the opposition leader said he opposed the inclusion of military representatives in the new government committee. Shah said the opposition has always supported the government for initiating peace dialogue with Taliban. He said that the opposition never suggested the government to disengage from the talks with Taliban, rather, it assured all possible support in this regard.
However, he complained that treasury’s attitude was reflective of the fact that it was repeating the politics of 90s. Shah reiterated his demand to keep army away from direct interaction with the Taliban adding he was not opposed to talks, however, he wanted the Pakistan Army not be dragged into it. He was of the view that if talks fail, then the blame would be shifted to the army. Rising on a point of order‚ Leader of the Opposition said he was sending his proposals in writing for improving the National Internal Security Strategy.
In reply, federal minister Khawaja Saad Rafique complained that Khurshid Shah was supporting the dialogue process but simultaneously PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was openly opposing it. He further said that the government has yet not taken any decision for including army’s representative in the government committee to hold negotiations with the Taliban. The opposition leader also expressed his concerns over recent statements made by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar relating to the Islamabad court attack. Shah questioned if the interior minister was trying to shield terrorists by saying that the judge was killed by the gunfire of his own guard.
Earlier, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada told the House that Pakistan has objected to India over the design of four hydroelectric projects initiated during the last five years in violation of the design criteria of the Indus Water Treaty. Responding to a question during question hour in the National Assembly on behalf of Minister for Water and Power he said objections to Ratle Miyar Lower Kalnai and Pakal Dul on Chenab River were discussed in two meetings of Permanent Indus Commission last year and will further be discussed in the meeting of the Commission next month. To another question he said about 30 million acre feet of water is wasted annually in the country due to lack of sufficient storage capacity.
The House was told that 60 percent Pakistanis are facing food scarcity and a number of measures are being taken for food availability. The National Assembly adopted a resolution congratulating women parliamentarians for their endeavours and substantive role in performing their responsibilities in legislative oversight and representation. The National Assembly passed “The Federal Public Service Commission (Amendment) Bill 2014”. It was moved by Federal Minister Zahid Hamid who informed the House in reply to a point raised by Shireen Mazari that the amendment in question was not person-specific.
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