–War of words in Senate as info minister accuses PkMAP’s Achakzai of anti-state talk
ISLAMABAD: The Senate once again witnessed rumpus in the House on Wednesday after Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry continued his verbal assaults on the opposition, this time on Pushtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, and demanded the formation of a parliamentary committee to investigate utilisation of massive funds by the previous governments.
Speaking in the Upper House, Fawad accused Achakzai of robbing the country and making anti-state statements, resulting in strong response from PkMAP Senator Usman Kakar. Fawad also said that Achakzai got his brother appointed as the governor of Balochistan.
Kakar accused Fawad of ‘licking the boots’ of former military dictator General (r) Pervez Musharraf.
Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani intervened and more than once asked Fawad to not use “un-parliamentary” language, saying that running the House is government’s responsibility and it needs to exercise greater tolerance towards opposition.
Fawad, however, continued with his accusations and asked why opposition members are reminded of decorum of the House only when corruption cases are discussed.
He also demanded that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Senator Mushahidullah Khan apologise for impolite comments against Fawad and his family made in the House on Monday. Sanjrani eventually turned off the mic of Fawad as opposition members started a walkout.
Later, Mushahidullah and Fawad shook hands and called a truce.
PROBE INTO UTILISATION OF GOVT FUNDS:
Earlier during his speech, Fawad demanded that a parliamentary committee be formed on the utilisation of trillions of rupees of funds by the previous governments.
He said that Rs42 trillion was transferred to Balochistan in the last 10 years and a committee should be constituted to ascertain how these funds were utilised in the province. He said those who were rulers in Balochistan, should be asked where all the money was utilised.
Fawad said poor people, those who were without blankets and barefoot and 2.5 million out of school, should be given proper respect as the injustice to them amounted to economic terrorism. He said the decorum of the House was important but he would talk about corruption and malpractices and 700 billion which were laundered to just 10 countries.
The minister said the government was left with no option but to seek financial aid from abroad to plug the gap of $18 billion of the balance of payments deficit.
He said the opposition wanted that nobody should talk about corruption and fake bank accounts.
He said when he talked about corruption and misuse of funds, the Opposition responded to, by talking about deprivation of their areas without telling how the funds were used in the past.
On the demand of the information minister, the Senate chairman agreed to talk to the leader of the house and opposition in the Senate and National Assembly speaker for the formation of a parliamentary committee on the use of funds by the previous governments.