- Khursheed Shah rubbishes allegations of corruption, reminds Nisar of his own past, says he’s ready for accountability
- Legislation continues on fringes as six bills referred to standing committees for further deliberation
Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah has once again asked the government to form a committee to probe the allegations of corruption levelled against the prime minister’s family.
More than a week since the release of the Panama Papers, the floor of the National Assembly has still not shrugged the aftershocks, with sabre-rattling continuing between the treasury and opposition benches.
Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar claimed he has files which contain evidence of corruption committed by Khursheed Shah.
“I present myself for accountability and will tender resignation, if the allegations are proven against me,” said an agitated Khursheed Shah, while offering himself up for investigation.
Chaudhry Nisar in a press conference on Monday claimed that he has ‘files’ against Shah.
Khursheed Shah termed Nisar’s allegation as blackmail.
“How can the interior minister be in possession of corruption files against me when National Accountability Bureau (NAB) holds such files?” he questioned, and added he would leave politics if allegations of corruption are proven against him.
Shah said, with obvious reference to Nisar, that PM’s close friends left him high and dry at a difficult time. “Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was living in exile when some of his close friends were resting in their own homes,” he added.
On a point of order, Khursheed said he would take a response from the prime minister about the allegations that have been levelled against him.
“If any person is misusing his office or taking benefits from government, he has no right to stay in his position,” he added.
Responding to the opposition leader, Federal Minister for Law Zahid Hamid said the interior minister would respond to Khursheed Shah in person.
“If the opposition leader spoke some derogatory remarks, they should be expunged from record,” he added.
The House disposed of half the agenda for the day. The six bills including “The National Accountability Bill (Amendment) Bill, 2016″, ” The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016″, “The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2016”, “’The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment, 2016 ‘’ and “The Trade Organisations Act, 2016” were referred to concerned standing committees.
The thin presence of lawmakers gave the House a deserted look. Both sides of the aisle had low attendance of MNAs. The MNAs welcomed the Turkish delegation visiting the National Assembly. Turkish Speaker Ismail Kahraman along with a delegation witnessed the proceedings of the National Assembly.
Welcoming the delegation, the speaker said the parliamentary delegation’s visit will help boost cooperation between the parliaments of the two countries.
CENTRE HELPING KP FIGHT TERROR:
The National Assembly was informed that the federal government is making all-out efforts to help Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) fight the menace of terrorism.
This was stated by Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan while responding to a calling attention notice. He said over Rs 150 billion have been provided to the province to curb the menace.
He said the federal government will support every effort of the KP administration to strengthen law enforcement and enhance its revenue.
He pointed out that the tax-free zone facilities to Malakand Division and Kohistan District were withdrawn at the request of the provincial government because only car dealers smuggling vehicles were exploiting these facilities.
However, the opposition members staged a token walkout from the House over the withdrawal of tax-free zone facilities to Malakand Division.
NO DEVELOPMENT WORKS IN SWAT:
Speaking on a point order, PTI’s lawmaker Murad Saeed said the federal government has taken no serious steps for the development of Swat.
“The government has not brought any development scheme to Swat and another sit-in is under consideration to remedy this ignorance,” PTI’s young leader threatened the government.
However, another PTI’s leader Musarat Zeb from Swat ruled out a sit-in but criticised the government for not bringing any development projects to Swat. “I will not hold a sit-in, but I will raise my voice in parliament for the rights of my area,” she said.