Opposition poles apart on inquiry demand

PML-N man seeks judicial commission to probe Abbottabad episode.

Qamar Zaman/umer Nangiana May 12, 2011


Despite a policy statement given by Prime Minsiter Yousaf Raza Gilani on the Abbottabad operation, the issue continued to haunt the government on Wednesday as the opposition in the National Assembly called for the constitution of a ‘parliamentary commission’ to probe the incident.

Maulana Attaur Rehman of the JUI-F called for the establishment of a parliamentary commission to bolster the supremacy of parliament.

He urged the opposition not to attend the in-camera joint sitting, in which Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is supposed to brief parliamentarians on May 13, unless the government implemented a joint resolution on the subject.

Criticising the government for its insensitivity, the JUI-F leader said that its commitment to sensitive national issues can be gauged from the fact that it was busy in wooing the PML-Q even after the Abbottabad episode.

He also demanded of the civilian and military leadership to quit since they have collectively failed in performing their due role.

Khwaja Saad Rafiq of the PML-N, however, called for setting up a judicial commission headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan to probe the incident.

“We will not accept the inquiry conducted by serving generals,” he added.

PML-Q’s Attiya Inayatullh linked the Abbottabad incident with the re-election of the US president and said: “War-mongering US generals may push Obama to cross the Durand Line,” adding that the May 2 incident was akin to a declaration of war against Pakistan.

During the question-hour, the Minister of State for Production Khawaja Sheraz, who was answering on behalf of Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, told parliamentarians that no current data was available to determine the number of people living below the poverty line in Pakistan. However, in 2005-06, the poverty ratio was 22 per cent of the population, almost 40 million people, he added.

The minister said the Federal Bureau of Statistics had started a survey – ‘Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (PLSM) since July 2010 – to measure the latest poverty ratio.

The survey, he said, would be completed by June this year.

The minister said that the country had launched six projects worth $2,757.4 million in collaboration with China between March 2005 and December 2010.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2011.


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