The National Assembly marked National Minorities Day on Monday by unanimously passing a resolution that paid tribute to members of religious minorities, rejected all forms of discrimination and pressed the government to take concrete steps to maintain inter-faith harmony.
The resolution was moved by Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf through which he asked his own government “to take concrete steps”.
After the house unanimously passed the resolution, Shazia Marri from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) told The Express Tribune that it was her resolution, which the minister introduced.
Marri had sought permission from Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abassi to move the resolution, which she drafted, but she was not allowed, as the minister was present in the house.
Addressing the house after the resolution was passed, she complained that the government had not taken any measures to address the great sense of insecurity of religious minorities. “We have even failed to ensure sectarian harmony,” she added.
Amid the rising political tension in the country, the issue of long marches and protests also came up when Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch hit hard at both Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Lashing out at the PAT chief, he said Dr Tahirul Qadri in his recent speech asked his workers to kill their fellow supporters if they returned after abandoning the march. “The kind of revolution he is talking about is beyond understanding,” he commented.
About the PTI, the minister said that political parties should accept the mandate of others.
Earlier, MNAs from the government and opposition joined hands in asking Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq to take action against the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) for his refusal to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and PAC chairman Syed Khursheed Shah presented a special report on “Excess Salary and Privileges of the Auditor General of Pakistan in the light of the SRO 1074(1)/2007, dated 3rd October, 2007.” Shah informed the house that the AGP was given the opportunity to submit his point of view before the committee but he simply refused to do so.
Members from the PML-N, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), PTI and PPP endorsed the view that action be taken against the AGP while suggesting that a privilege motion be moved against him for undermining the authority of the parliament.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th,2014.