Usman Kakar’s death will be probed, minister tells Senate

Opposition demands investigation into cause of former senator’s sudden demise


Our Correspondent June 25, 2021
Former Senator and senior leader of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) Usman Kakar. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

Federal Minister Azam Swati on Friday assured the opposition that a thorough probe into the death of former senator Usman Khan Kakar.

The assurance came as opposition senators during the proceedings of the upper house of parliament demanded an investigation into the cause of the former senator’s sudden demise.

Swati said all government resources would be used to ascertain the facts behind the senior PkMAP leader’s death.

The preliminary report issued after the autopsy read there were no marks of torture or wound on his body and that the cause of his death appeared to be a brain hemorrhage. Kakar had passed away at a hospital in Karachi earlier this week.

Read more: No sign of torture on Kakar’s body: report

Senator Sardar Muhammad Shafiq Tareen suggested forming a judicial commission to probe into the matter.

He added that Kakar was found injured in the bedroom of his house in Quetta.

“The door of the house was open and no employee was present there. His family decided to take him to Agha Khan Hospital [in Karachi] where doctors said his brain was completely damaged.

The senator said the death appeared to be suspicious and he believed that Kakar was murdered.

Winding up the budget debate in Senate, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said sales tax on several food items including milk flour had been rolled back.

He added that he had not agreed to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) demanded to impose Rs700 billion in new taxes.

Tarin said the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would not harass defaulters and a third party audit would be carried out before arresting non-filers.

He added that the government was taking steps to bring another 15 million people into the tax net.

Participating in the debate, PPP’s Senator Raza Rabbani maintained that the budget was based on the directions of the IMF.

He added that a 10% increase in salaries was not enough against this unprecedented price hike.

He claimed that the budget was prepared by “IMF employees”.

“The IMF has become the new East India Company in Pakistan,” he maintained, adding that the country had pledged its economic sovereignty to the IMF.

“The budget will not be approved by the National Assembly but by the IMF.”

MQM-P’s Senator Faisal Subzwari pointed out the water shortage in Karachi.

Even though the city needs 1,200 gallons of water, only 100 gallons were being supplied, he added.

He said Karachi was the business hub of the country but it was ignored in the past.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed in his speech said Pakistan had a strategic location and given the situation in the region, it should carefully move forward.

He claimed that after making the “terrible decision” of “leasing out” Kahuta, the cabinet had decided to give away all strategic assets including motorways and airports so that the US could have its bases in the country.

The House also offered fateha for the martyred soldiers of Frontier Corps in Sibi.

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