ISLAMABAD  - The opposition in the National Assembly on Monday called for making two parliamentary committees – one on leaked clips involving NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal and the second on the grievances of tribesmen.

The government and opposition lawmakers, without touching agenda items, remained focused on the matters of a clash at North Waziristan checkpoint and NAB chief’s clip leak.

The opposition, before staging a walkout, blamed the government for ‘saving its own people from accountability in the garb of NAB chairman episode’.

On a point of order, PML-N lawmaker questioned the government’s alleged role in trapping the NAB chairman.

“A number of opposition members, including Asif Ali Zardari, are facing NAB cases whereas the references against the government members are pending,” he said.

“Jahangir Tareen [PTI senior leader] has shares in the private [TV] channel that aired the news [of the leaked tapes],” he said, terming it an attempt to malign the credibility of NAB chief.

The PML-N parliamentarian said there were some lawmakers ready to replace Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“I will not expose the names of these people,” he said, making mockery of PTI’s ministers who were replaced recently.

“Even the minister for finance was replaced. I haven’t seen such kind of political bankruptcy in any party like PTI. The information ministry was given to a non-representative [Firdous Ashiq Awan] and Fawad Chaudhry was given the ministry of science and technology.”

The former minister, responding to the government member’s comment during his speech, said the treasury should keep in mind that power has no shelf life.

The PML-N lawmaker demanded formation of a parliamentary committee against the backdrop of a clash at a North Waziristan post.

He said: “There is a need to play proactive role for addressing the grievances of the [tribal] areas politically. Two MNAs are being named in the recent Waziristan clash. One has been arrested while the other is said to be at large. The PM, former KP CM or interior minister should speak on this issue.”

 

Praising the security forces for rendered many sacrifices, Kh Asif said: “There is a need to realise that the fault be fixed politically, not by force. Bring them into your fold, bring them into the political mainstream”.

He continued: “The National Assembly has unanimously passed the 26th amendment presented by MNA Mohsin Dawar. The amendment has yet not been passed by the Senate because some forces are in action to prevent it from being passed.”

Murad’s  Response

Communication and Postal Services Minister Murad Saeed, responding to Kh Asif’s remarks, said: “The process of development has begun in tribal area. The PTI government wants  to fulfil genuine demands of tribal people.”

The lawmakers from opposition silently walked out of the house when the chair gave the floor to Murad Saaed to respond to the opposition’s questions.

Murad continued: “Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced a Rs22 billion package for reconstruction of the houses and shops of the tribal people. The former government had done nothing but always tried to take credit of operation Zarb-e-Azab.

 “I raised voice in the parliament for the rights of the tribal people,” he said adding that the previous government had failed to provide relief to the people of this area.  About the sit-in [in North Waziristan’s], he said when the protest entered its third day it was agreed from other side that a person from Waziristan would be released.

But, he claimed, an MNA called upon the protesters to attack the checkpost, resulting in martyrdom of the people. He said Prime Minister had always opposed drone strikes that were carried out by the US and claimed that MNA from North Waziristan Mohsin Dawar had supported those attacks.  “We [PTI] agreed to rejoin the parliament after APS incident but Mohisn Dawar opposed it,” he said.