Rabbani, Kulsoom expose govt’s claims on devolution | Pakistan Today

Rabbani, Kulsoom expose govt’s claims on devolution

The federal government faced embarrassment during the Senate proceedings on Tuesday as two treasury members, Raza Rabbani and Kulsoom Perveen, accused the federal government of violating the devolution process by not handing over Shaikh Zayed Hospital to the Punjab government while Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani accused Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani of fanning lingual hatred in South Punjab.
“If Shaikh Zayed in Quetta is handed over to the Balochistan government under devolution, why the same hospital in Lahore is not being devolved to the Punjab government? The federal government should give both provinces equal treatment,” said BNP-Awami Senator Kulsoom Perveen.
On a point of order, Senator Zahid Khan and Abdul Haseeb Khan sought the chairman’s ruling on continuous absence of ministers from the House.
Haseeb said Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi was humiliating the special committee on drug regulatory authority (DRA) and despite his repeated calls and a letter, Sethi had not responded. He said the secretary was reluctant to provide the committee with a list of federal government hospitals devolved to provinces.
Senator Rabbani offered to assist the committee, saying that there was a dispute between the federal and the Punjab governments on Shaikh Zayed Hospital which in his view must be handed down to Punjab after devolution.
He said the commission had also drafted a law for DRA and he had successfully taken on board all four provinces but the issue could not be resolved once the commission had been dissolved.
Senator Ishaq Dar accused the federal government of adopting an “egoistic approach” over the issue. He alleged that Punjab was being given step-motherly treatment and the Punjab government would move court if the matter was not resolved. He also offered to mediate between federal and Punjab governments to resolve DRA and other disputes about devolution process.
Senate Deputy Chairman Jan Mohammed Jamali directed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari to hold a meeting with Dar and Rabbani to resolve the issue today (Wednesday).
Meanwhile, former information minister Senator Durrani accused Prime Minister Gilani of fanning lingual hatred among the people of South Punjab in clear violation of the articles 3 and 33 of the constitution by making hollow claims of creating a Saraiki Province.
Speaking on a point of order in the Senate, Senator Durrani demanded the government hold a referendum in Bahawalpur division on the issue of revival of Bahawalpur province.
“Though the referendum has been misused in the past for perpetuating the martial law rule by successive dictators, hence, it is a responsibility of the government to use this instrument to get to know the public pulse and the will of the masses,” he asserted.

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