National Assembly Opposition Leader Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan cautioned senior military officers to come prepared for legislators’ questions on the Abbottabad incursion for the joint session of Parliament.
“Defence officials should get the message that they have to brief parliamentarians,” he said. The PML-N leader reiterated his demand to go public with the information without jeopardising national security to get the truth out to the people. He said this was not the time to conceal facts.
President Asif Ali Zardari had summoned the joint session for a closed-door briefing on the May 2 Abbottabad operation by US special forces after the official stance generated both controversy and criticism.
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence Ahmad Shuja Pasha and Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Sulaiman are likely to appear in person to respond to charges of complicity or incompetence.
Bushra Gohar of the Awami National Party demanded the establishment of a parliamentary commission to investigate the May 12 incident in Karachi which had sparked off a killing spree. She regretted that the perpetrators have yet to be traced, despite lapse of several years. She blamed former president Pervez Musharraf and the provincial government at the time for the incident.
A bill regarding the National Vocational and Technical Education Commission faced some resistance from PML-N’s Zahid Hamid. It was finally passed with some amendments after Syed Naveed Qamar explained that the commission was charged with preparing a national policy. He said it was paradoxical that the devolution of the Higher Education Commission was being contested at the same time as the federation’s move to oversee vocational and technical education.
NA Question Hour
Both serving and retired justices of the superior judiciary and senior bureaucrats were rewarded for their value-added service with an additional residential plot under the Prime Minister’s Assistance Scheme 2006.
Minister for Housing and Works, Faisal Saleh Hayat informed the house in a written reply that fifty-five people, including fifteen retired and serving judges of the superior judiciary, benefitted from the scheme, reserved for secretaries and grade 22 officers. Nearly all the officers were allotted additional plots by the present government. The beneficiaries include Salman Faruqi, Justices Khalilur Rehman Ramday and Tassuduq Hussain Jillani and former chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.
There are 16734 federal government houses in Islamabad, 7880 in Karachi, 1993 in Lahore, 669 in Peshawar and 498 in Quetta, Hayat stated in writing. The Pakistan Housing Authority will construct flats for grade 19 and 20 officers of the federal government in sector I-12 and Kurri Road, respectively.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2011.
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