Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari has underscored the need for more trade and business links between Pakistan and Italy to boost the economy and bringing the people of the two sides closer.
While talking to Ambassador of Italy Adriano Chiodi Cianfarani at Parliament House Tuesday, the Senate chairman stated that Pakistan highly valued its bilateral relations with Italy and desired to further enhance mutual cooperation in different fields. He said that Pakistan offered a conducive environment for investment while the Italian investors could invest in different sectors particularly energy and textile.
Bokhari further said that Pakistan and Italy shared common perceptions about regional and international issues and both sides were supporting each other at international fora. He acknowledged the Italian support for GSP Plus and also emphasised more cooperation at parliamentary level to strengthen bilateral relations and pave the way for cooperation in many fields.
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The senator said that the GB chief secretary has been the appellate forum in mining concession matters which powers were now sought to be shifted to the bureaucracy in Islamabad.
“The wily scheme to usurp powers of the GB administration and assembly in giving mining concessions also raises serious questions about the motive behind it as awarding mineral concessions to bidders is a lucrative business,” he said.
It passes comprehension that while the GB Empowerment Order 2009 gives the powers to regulate labour and safety in mines to the local assembly, the powers to grant mining concessions is taken over by the bureaucracy in Islamabad, he said adding, “It must not be allowed; it will not be”.
“The GB council is headed by the prime minister of Pakistan and packed with his handpicked nominees who outnumber the elected members of the GB legislative assembly in it.”
“The GB council is a high sounding front for bureaucracy in Islamabad. Most of its members have not even visited the area let alone have any understanding of the aspirations and needs of its people. It has no business to usurp the powers that legitimately belong to the local government and their elected assembly,” he said.
“Besides the prime minister and GB governor, who is also a nominee of the PM, there are six more members nominated by him from amongst members of parliament. Together with the federal minister for Kashmir Affairs as ex-officio member the nine nominated members of the Islamabad-based Council over rule the minority six members elected to it by the GB Assembly,” he said.