ISLAMABAD: Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said on Friday that the opposition gets offended and walks out of the sessions whenever accountability is mentioned.
The minister was addressing a National Assembly session, where he asked the opposition why it was afraid of accountability.
“They don’t want justice they want Justice Qayyum, they don’t want ehtesab (accountability) they want Ehtesab-ur-Rehman,” remarked Murad amid ruckus from the opposition benches.
He said that he should be expelled from the House if he has uttered an unparliamentary word.
The opposition after raising commotion over the minister’s speech, walked out of the session in protest.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique addressed the floor of the National Assembly, in his first appearance at the parliament since his arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in connection to a housing society scam earlier this month.
PPP’s Shazia Marri objected to a recent statement issued by State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi, where he had claimed that 75 per cent of female school students in the federal capital use drugs.
Marri claimed that Afridi’s statement was “unfortunate” as it can make parents wary of sending their daughters to schools.
“A country that is already facing challenges with regards to girls’ education and where we are trying to change an environment [that discourages female education], news that 75 per cent of the girls use drugs will discourage parents from sending their daughters to schools,” Marri argued, adding that instead of issuing alarming statements, the government should take action.
Responding to Marri’s objections, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, said that Afridi’s statement had been “misunderstood”. She claimed that the state minister was talking about “private, elite schools” where the consumption of drugs by female students had “increased by 75 per cent”.
She disagreed with Marri’s stance that the minister should not have given this statement, saying that such issues cannot be “swept under the carpet” and needed to be addressed.
“What we don’t see we don’t care about,” said Mazari. “I believe that we should ring alarm bells in our society, this is a big issue.
“Parents who send their children to these elite schools do not want to know… Maybe this is the sort of alarm bells (sic) that was needed.” She assured that the issue had come up in the cabinet meeting and the ministries of education and interior had been directed to devise policies to deal with the “growing issue” of drug usage in educational institutions.
Marri, in response, reiterated that the government should be “careful” on sensitive issues and instead take tangible actions such as “making it compulsory for schools to take drug tests of students”.
To this Mazari agreed, adding that a law must be passed that would make it mandatory for private schools to hold drug tests.