ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Political Affairs Dr Babar Awan has said that demand of opposition to hold All Parties Conference on the electoral reforms is unjustified as Parliament is the only forum for legislation on any issue.
Taking part in debate on federal budget in the National Assembly on Wednesday, he said that no APC can do legislation.
Babar said that the opposition neither participated in the parliamentary committee meetings on electoral reforms nor gave any suggestion to improve the existing election system.
The Election Commission of Pakistan was a constitutional institution and had the mandate to hold free, fair and transparent elections in the country, he added.
Opposition was opposing the Electronic Voting Machines and the government’s efforts of giving the right of vote to overseas Pakistanis, who were playing a vital role in strengthening the national economy by sending remittances, he regretted.
The adviser to PM on political affairs asked the opposition to adopt a realistic approach during the budget debate as the incumbent government had taken practical initiatives for the common man’s relief and economic growth despite the coronavirus pandemic.
He said that the opposition parties remained in power for decades but could not introduce any such policy that would have ended poverty, but now they were becoming the champions and sympathizers of the poor.
Babar said that the world economies had crumbled due to coronavirus but it was the hallmark of the PTI government that it presented a tax-free budget despite all financial constraints, which would have no negative impact on the masses.
He said that it was evident from the fact that the international economic experts were asking the investors to invest in Pakistani markets due to the conducive environment and improved economy.
The adviser asked the absconding leaders of PML-N to come back to the motherland and practically participate in the efforts for the well-being of the poor.
He also rejected the propaganda of the opposition that way was being paved for the presidential form of government, and amendment in the 18th constitutional amendments.
As per the law and constitution two-third majority was needed for bringing any change in the 18th constitutional amendment, he said, adding “the incumbent government has no such majority”.
Babar said that Pakistan was an ally of the international community for its peace efforts but not in wars and the PTI government had a very clear stance on it.
He said that Prime Minister Imran wanted to strengthen national institutions by ensuring rule of law and supremacy of the Parliament.
Babar expressed confidence that the government would succeed in passing the budget from National Assembly and Punjab Assembly as well with majority.
Talking part in the budget debate, Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians Syed Javed Ali Shah demanded of the government to make more allocations for agriculture sector which was backbone of the national economy.
He urged National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to issue production orders of arrested MNAs Syed Khursheed Shah and Khawaja Muhammad Asif so that they could highlight problems being faced by their voters and represent their constituencies in the house.
Javed Shah said the government should take effective measures to end load-shedding in Sindh province and provide gas in different localities including his constituency.
He regretted over the delay in execution of Sukkur-Hyderabad motorway which was an important section of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and asked to ensure quality in its construction.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmaker Nawaz Sher Waseer congratulated the government and its allies for presenting pro-poor and farmers’ budget.
He thanked Prime Minister Imran for increasing the rates of sugarcane, wheat and other food items to facilitate the farmers, adding that the government should give subsidy on solar system to install tube-well.
Nawab Waseer demanded of the government to increase salaries of the government employees by at least 20 percent because there was price hike in the country due to the wrong polices of the previous governments.
The legislator said clean drinking water was the basic right of every citizen of the country and urged the government to allocate more funds for the provision of the facility.
PML-N MNA Syeda Nosheen Iftikhar urged the government to provide basic necessities of daily use items at the cheaper rates to overcome the problems of poor people.
She said that the government of PTI should fulfill its promises like job opportunities and low-cost housing units which had been made during the general election-2018 campaign.
Nosheen Iftikhar said that the PML-N had established 19 universities and 200 colleges to promote education in the country.
PML-N MNA Dr Nisar Cheema urged the government to announce honorarium for the employees who were performing budget duties in the parliament till late night.
He alleged that the government had not given any relief to the farmers, poor people and other segments of society in the budget 2021-22. Nisar Cheema said that the government should improve the health facilities in the country.
Balochistan Awami Party legislator Khalid Hussain Magsi demanded formation of a committee to address all the issues confronted by poor people of Balochistan.