Senators stage walkout over missing persons issue | Pakistan Today

Senators stage walkout over missing persons issue

Opposition parties on Monday staged separate walkouts from the Senate over the missing persons’ issue and privatisation of institutions.
On the opening day of 98th session, Awami National Party Senator Zahid Khan criticised the government, particularly the interior minister, for not being accessible even for the lawmakers and that too on the issue of missing persons in Balochistan and other parts of the country.
“We tried to contact Chaudhry Nisar repeatedly but failed… He (Nisar) did not bother to return our call. We could not make contact with CM Balochistan even,” he told the House as he tried to draw attention of the government on the abduction of Abdul Zahir Kasi, a political figure from Balochistan. When Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq tried to defend the interior minister ANP Senator Haji Adeel expressed his dissatisfaction and announced a walkout.
MQM Senator Tahir Mashhadi termed the killing of party worker Dilshad Ahmad as murder in the custody of law enforcers and asked the chief justice and the interior minister to hold an inquiry into what he called ever-increasing issue of the missing persons and extra-judicial killings. He was concerned that whereabouts of eight missing persons from Karachi were still unknown. He added that the issue was even stretching out of Balochistan province.
JUI-F Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri observed that recovery of the missing persons did not improve even with the induction of Dr Abdul Malik as the chief minister of Balochistan. He said that the provincial government had expressed its complete helplessness in this regard.
Senator Abdul Rauf also joined the protesting lawmakers and told the House that so far 20 doctors have been abducted from Balochistan.
PPP Senator Raza Rabbani prompted the second walkout from the House as he criticised the government’s programme for privatising 68 sensitive government departments, including Pakistan Steel Mills on the IMF directions. He made it clear to the government that the opposition would not allow privatisation of the PSM as he feared it would lead to workers’ exploitation. However, MQM Senator Babar Ghauri held a different view as he endorsed government’s plan to privatise sick units but not at the cost of workers welfare.

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