PPP lawmakers blast coalition for corruption


While the opposition parties inside and outside parliament are already up in arms against the government, the National Assembly on Monday witnessed an implosion from within the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) as two of its prominent lawmakers blasted the coalition for rampant corruption and called for immediate measures to get rid of corrupt practices otherwise the people of the country would hold the regime accountable.
Former state minister Sumsam Bukhari pointed fingers at Minister for Housing and Works Faisal Saleh Hayat for corruption in his ministry and its attached departments, warning the coalition government to take action against corruption or get ready to face the public wrath. Speaking on a point of order, former state minister for information and broadcasting Bukhari said the officials in Pak-Public Works Department (PWD) had indulged in an “unprecedented corruption” in development works in the country.
“Commissions are being demanded publicly in the name of the minister and the secretary. Since this is public money, not a single penny should go in pockets of either the minister or the secretary. If immediate corrective measures are not taken, I am afraid that the people would hold us accountable,” he warned. Adding fuel to the fire, Justice (r) Fakharun Nisa Khokhar said due to uncontrolled corruption, development works had come to a standstill while the government had been keeping its eyes closed from bitter reality. “Why we are keeping our eyes closed? Why we don’t bring in a whistle blower bill against corruption like Anna Hazare (of India),” she asked. Pointing her fingers towards the law minister for being a hurdle in the accountability bill, Fakharun Nisa Khokhar said the members of National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice had fianlised the accountability bill thrice and each time the bill was sent to the Law Ministry where it was reversed to initial form.
“Per parliamentary traditions, every bill after passage from the relevant standing committee has to be presented in parliament. However, here this bill after passage by the committee is sent to the ministry. Unless and until we don’t bring in a stern monitoring policy, the sufferings of the people will continue,” asserted the PPP MNA, charge sheeting her own government for resisting passage of accountability law. She blamed the government officials, stating that the policymakers seek money on pretext of arranging dowry for their daughters. Nasir Ali Shah of the PPP raised his voice in the House against a vilification campaign launched by the Balochistan government against the slain police surgeon Dr Baqir Shah who had been killed in Quetta last week.
“Instead of capturing the perpetrators of the murder of Baqir Shah, the Balochistan government is accusing the deceased. The late police surgeon has been blamed for being a drunkard and womanizing which are baseless allegations to avoid probe into the heinous crime of his murder,” he asserted. PPP lawmaker Zafar Ali Shah called for an end to hiring of government lawyers on political basis which he claimed was a major reason of the failure of state agencies to prosecute the law violators. Meanwhile, a bill to further amend the provincial Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965 was laid in the National Assembly. Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Interior Ghulam Mujtaba Kharal moved for laying the bill on behalf of the interior minister.