ISLAMABAD: The government and the opposition on Friday argued with each other in the National Assembly over the Khokhar Palace issue and in the Senate over the performance of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
PML-N members filed a protest in the National Assembly after Chairman Asad Qaisar upheld his verdict on a privilege motion seeking to transfer to Malik Afzal Khokhar against taking state land allegedly occupied by lawmakers in Lahore.
PML-N members gathered in front of the speaker’s stage after he announced his decision to recognize the right motion to refer him to the Rights Committee. This situation forced the speaker to postpone the trial until Monday afternoon.
PML-N speaker and MP Ahsan Iqbal was involved in verbal clashes twice when the latter was denied a chance. Ahsan while filing a protest with the chairman said that the speaker allowed the ministers to insult opposition members and their privilege motions were not served.
“Is this the way to speak in the DPR. You also remain a minister and call yourself a professor, ”the speaker in his immediate reaction said as PML-N raised Na Manzoor’s slogan while the speaker reserved his decision on a privilege motion.
Afzal Khokhar, currently challenging allegations by the parliamentary affairs adviser, said he and his family members were bona fide land buyers, demanding that the privilege motion be referred to the Rights Committee where he would produce evidence. “The actions against my family were carried out to serve political motives and as an attempt to change loyalty,” he said.
The PML-N member said his legal property was destroyed while Prime Minister Imran Khan’s massive property in Bani Gala was arranged for a payment of only Rs 1.2 million. “I was harassed so I couldn’t participate in the process in the DPR,” he said, demanding that legal counsel apologize to him for the accusations leveled against him.
As Afzal Khokhar spoke, his colleague and party spokesman Marriyum Aurgenzeb took the seat next to him, prompting him to speak out against the prime minister and mentioning the Zaman Park residence and his sewing machine business. “If I am a Qabza group, Imran Khan is also a Qabza group,” said Khokhar. Under the dictation of Marriyum Aurengzeb, he said he did not occupy land to build a Taman Zaman residence or take funds from the government to buy sewing machines.
Meanwhile, speaking to media people outside the assembly, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the government used cruel measures such as destroying the homes of girls and sisters. He said the speaker did not even recognize Afzal Khokhar’s privilege motion and referred the same to the Rights Committee. He said Imran Khan did not even know the details of the Transparency International report on increasing corruption in Pakistan and believed what his advisors said that the report was based on previous government data.
Prime Minister Dr Babar Awan’s adviser against the privilege motion said there was no law that would allow constitutional institutions to protect land mafias. Counsel when citing Rules 31 and 97 said both rules prohibit the acceptance of a motion of rights especially when an issue is in court proceedings. He said that if according to opposition members, the matter was in court proceedings, according to rule 31, subjective matters could not be brought to parliament. He said the Lahore High Court had recognized the government’s plea that it wanted to take action to take state land and there was also no civil court order.
The adviser said action against the land mafia was taken during the day and 45 canals of state land had been found. He said there were only 10 large Qabza groups in Punjab and they were building colonies and gas stations. He said the privilege motion was unacceptable because it was not a matter of rights or rights of anyone, adding that the DPR could not provide protection against any criminal acts.
Babar Awan said democracy and land mafia cannot coexist. “There are political actors who stand with the threat of the land mafia making threats to the institutions,” he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Adviser for Accountability and Home Affairs Shahzad Akbar on Friday informed the National Assembly that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Asset Recovery Unit (ARU) made a recovery of Rs339.33 billion in the past two years.
He said the ARU, consisting of representatives of NAB, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), was established to carry out the recovery of illegal assets abroad.
Responding to additional inquiries at the hour of inquiry, Shahzad Akbar said that NAB recovered Rs290 billion while ARU recovered Rs37 billion from illegal foreign assets in the two years since it was founded in September 2018.ARU has so far detected illegal foreign assets worth Rs318 billion.
Shahzad Akbar told the DPR that the Pakistani government currently has no working relationship with Broadsheet. He recalled an agreement signed with Broadsheet during 2000 which continued until 2003. He said the contract between the government and Broadsheet was drawn up in 2008 for a payment of 1.5 million dollars.
Meanwhile, the government and the opposition in the Senate are at loggerheads over the performance of NAB, as the DPR was told that a total of Rs481 billion had recovered in the last 10 years, including Rs390 billion over the past two years.
The DPR is given categorical guarantees that frontline health workers, then health workers and the elderly, and not politicians, ministers, judges or generals or bureaucrats are the government’s top priority for COVID-19 vaccination.
In a question and answer session, regarding the dismantling of the recovery, State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that NAB’s performance could be measured by the amount recovered during the incumbent’s two years of rule, which did nothing but allow anti-corruption. body to work free from any pressure or distraction.
However, this statement was not welcomed by some opposition senators, including PML-N’s Muhammad Javed Abbasi, who insisted that restoration was possible due to voluntary return and plea bargaining, while the Supreme Court has rejected the voluntary return option. He also questioned bargaining options as well. He is also looking for data on how many NAB cases have achieved their logical goals and are recovering by court order.
To that end, the Minister emphasized that what was done was in accordance with the law.
Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani refused to hand over the matter to the DPR committee concerned and ordered the provision of information requested by Senator Abbasi regarding the resolution of the corruption case.
Shahzad Akbar, who at the time, was heading to the DPR, rose to clarify that the questions and answers during the trial process were not a decision and added that the appeal defense had passed court trials in the Asfandyar Wali case and judicial oversight and then after the high court reported the decision, voluntary repatriation have been done.
Through a call attention notice, PML-N Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed raised what he called a humanitarian issue apart from having a legality aspect and it was a protest staged by around 250 teachers from the Federal Directorate of Education over the past two years, three weeks in Islamabad, including female teachers. , worked in a federal capital agency as a representative under marriage policy.
He said a delegation of opposition senators had visited the protesting teachers to show solidarity with them, who have been teaching here for the past 10-15 years and are now being sent back to their parent department in the province, splitting their families as if. He gave an example, the marriage policy received legal protection in 2012.
Minister Ali Muhammad Khan said the government was doing what it could within the limits of the law, to provide assistance to teachers. He added that under the law, the teachers have worked here as representatives for five years and an extension of their stay is only possible by obtaining an NOC. [no objection certificate] from its parent department.
The ministry concerned, he said, had received several letters from the provincial education department requesting the return of teachers from the FDE in view of their urgent requirements in their respective provinces and after they had passed their five-year legal period.
He explained that some got the NOC and those, who couldn’t, went to the Islamabad High Court for help in 2020 and that same year the court issued a very strong decision, asking for their repatriation, which the NOC did not issue, otherwise it would be inefficiency. and federal department delinquency and misconduct.
Afterwards, he noted that these teachers chose to appeal intra-court and had been admitted to the IHC and therefore the problem was the sub-court and once the court announced its decision it would be implemented.
Opposition leader Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq strongly supported the teachers’ case and suggested that the government review it and the DPR committee also provide direction to the government on this matter, as it is a serious humanitarian issue, asking for an effective one. solution.
DPR leader Dr Shahzad Waseem said that the federal minister for national education is concerned about this issue and wants a friendly solution to it and also considers several options.