Opposition to hold Senate session on street

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Opposition parties, except the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), on Tuesday announced that the Senate session on Wednesday (today) would be held on the street outside parliament against the interior minister’s attitude.
All opposition parties, excluding the MQM, continued their boycott for the fourth consecutive day and the House observed a visible lack of quorum as it met only for just over one hour to take up few questions only. The session witnessed a delay of around two hours against the scheduled time of 10:30am after efforts to woo the opposition failed again. The members of JUI-F, PML-F, PkMAP and MQM attended the sitting.
Meanwhile, PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan told reporters that the Wednesday’s session would be held on streets and not in the parliament house. Aitzaz said that the agenda has been prepared for the session in which behaviour of the interior minister and the issue of drone attacks would be discussed.
He advised Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to seek apology for the facts and figures about the civilian casualties caused by the US drone strikes. He said that the facts and figures of civilian casualties shared by the interior minister in the Senate have come from the government side and the minister was not willing to take back the details.
The senator said they would expose the government in the upcoming session. He said matters pertaining to privatisation and the situation of FATA and Karachi would also be reviewed in the session. He said the government on one hand cooperated with the US in war on terror while on the other hand it shed tears over the death of Hakeemullah Mehsud.
The Senate was informed that the government was acquiring 14 used aircraft to address the public issues on immediate basis. Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Minister Birjees Tahir told the House during question hour that four used aircraft would be acquired on lease from Turkey for four months so that reservations of people especially those from Quetta could be resolved. He said another 10 used aircraft would be acquired on lease for two years.
To a question‚ the minister said of 34‚ 23 PIA planes were operational while 11 were in workshops for maintenance.
The House will meet today at 10:30am while the opposition parties, as they have announced, would stage their show outside the chamber, a move that may escalate tension between treasury and the opposition benches.