KARACHI: Days after Prime Minister Imran Khan casually hinted at renaming the Benazir Income Support Programme [BISP] - the country's flagship social protection programme - two different resolutions were submitted to the legislative assemblies by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmakers, demanding to refrain from taking any such action.
The first resolution was tabled by MPA Nida Khuhro in the Sindh Assembly, while another was tabled in the Senate (Upper House) by Senator Sassui Palijo.
During the PM's visit to Ghotki district on Saturday, some Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf allies had suggested changing the name of the social protection programme, alleging that the PPP was misusing it. PM Khan had reportedly agreed to consider the suggestion.
The PM's response had caused uproar among the PPP's ranks, whose leaders had pledged to resist the move.
On Monday, MPA Khuhro, while condemning the federal government's statements, said, "BISP is a tribute to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto for her services and dedication for the welfare of people and promotion of this county."
In the absence of standing committees, Sindh Assembly struggles to find its footing
The resolution, moved by her in the Sindh Assembly, reads, "This House shares its deep concern over this reported decision of federal government and demands to avoid any kind of change in the name of BISP program." The resolution is likely to be taken up in the next sitting of the Assembly.
Meanwhile, Senator Sassui Palijo described it as the best project of the country, which was empowering women and strengthening the economy. "It's a source of assistance for millions of needy women."
Her resolution also demanded to reconsider the decision and avoid any kind of change in the name. Addressing the media in Karachi, Palijo said that they would protest in the Senate, National Assembly, Sindh Assembly, and all other forums if the government revoked the programme or renamed it.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2019.
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