Saudi largesse continues to dog govt in NA

* Opposition asks government to reveal the ‘actual purpose’ behind the grant
AFP

ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties staged a token walkout from the National Assembly on Thursday over several issues, including the $1.5 billion “gifted money”.
The opposition lawmakers asked the government to reveal the “actual purpose” behind this grant. An otherwise cool-minded opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah’s outburst against the planned move of the government to sack the contractual employees in various government departments heated up the atmosphere of the House. “We request the government to avoid such a move”, he pleaded and threatened to observe hunger strike with affected employees if such a plan was materialized. In the absence of senior members of the cabinet, federal ministers Zahid Hamid and Barjees Tahir attempted to respond to the onslaught of the opposition parties, which later walked out from the session.
Imran Khan, who turned up first time in the ongoing session strongly questioned that purpose behind gifted money from what later confirmed from Saudi Arabia, which is however not named by the government so far. “There is no free lunch in the world,” Imran noted and believed that it is our right as why this money was doled out to Pakistan. PTI chief opined that such gifts brought enormous miseries for the country in the past and can do the same in the future too.
In 80s, he pointed out we raised Jahadis for receiving these gifts and then declared them as terrorists again for getting gifted monies. “No country gives the huge amounts without securing interests”, he felt. Imran urged that Pakistan should remain away from Sunni-Shia conflict which is being enhanced internationally. PPP’s lawmaker Dr. Nafeesa Shah said the policy statement of Ishaq Dar the other day lacked the substance to allay their apprehensions. She deplored that adjournment motions including one about 1.5 billion dollar has not been taken up in the house.
Responding to point of Nafeesa Shah about adjournment motion Speaker Ayaz Sadiq believed these were not wroth enough to be taken, which prompted the opposition parties members to rise from their seats. Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that sanctity of the house is being violated and called upon the speaker to do their role for it. He said that government is totally oblivious to the people miseries and even elected representatives are not receiving the development funds to carryout works. “Because of this situation we all opposition parties stage a token walkout”, he announced.
Federal Minister Zahid Hamid and Parliamentary Secretary Finance Rana Afzal Hussain said that Dar’s statement has settled the issue and Pakistan is not sending troops beyond its borders. Later, Syed Khursheed Shah came hard on the government when he took the floor and severely criticized the government that is has plan on cards to sack 60000 contractual employees from government departments. “I will sit with them on hunger strike if they were kicked out. Please have mercy on them and their children. For God sake save yourself from their curses”, Shah pleaded emotionally. 
Recalling the previous PPP government, Shah said that his party government didn’t sack a single employee whether he was given the job in previous Nawaz governments or Pervez Musharraf regime. Opposition Leader said that the constitution enjoins upon the government to provide employment to the people but PML-N government is doing contrary to it by removing the people from their jobs. About non-tabling of adjournment motions in the house, Shah pointed out that this is totally against the traditions of the house and believed that these motions are just considered “toilet papers”.
Later Sheikh Rasheed told the house that he tried to get the details of the agreements which PML-N government put on previous PPP regime under which he wad debarred to fly to Canada but Foreign Office plainly refused to provide any information. Barjees Tahir responding to Sheikh Rasheed reminded about his challenge to resign from NA seat if dollar came down 100 rupees and asked him to honour his commitment by targeting him that he has not learnt from past.

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