Opposition protests drones, POL price hike, Geo Super closure
ISLAMABAD: Registering a strong protest against the closure of Geo Super, drone attacks and increase in the prices of petroleum products, the PML-N parliamentarians on Thursday staged a walkout from the National Assembly.
The PML-N members stood on their seats thrice and raised full-throated slogans against government’s anti-media, anti-people and pro-American policies. The protest started when Abdul Qadir Baloch, during a speech on presidential address to parliament, posed serious questions over the victimisation of the Jang Group and the government’s failure in controlling the drone attacks and the price hike.
“Closure of Geo Television is not acceptable; curbs on Aag channel are unacceptable; shame shame shame; we disapprove drone attacks and increase in petroleum prices,” the PML-N parliamentarians raised the slogans, as Baloch said the people of the country and sports lovers were being deprived of healthy entertainment.
As there was no let-up in the PML-N’s protest against the closure of Geo Super, the PPP members showed their bias against the Jang Group. “Stop blackmailing. We don’t recognise you,” PPP MP Noor Alam said.
Baloch said it was not only matter of the closure of Geo Super but it also was a question of the government’s intolerance. “The curbs on Geo Television reflect the government’s attitude and policy,” he observed.
He called upon the government to make an unconditional announcement for the restoration of transmissions of Geo Super. “If there is any issue of taxes and dues against television channels or the media, it should be resolved separately,” he said.
He said that the sky would not fall if the restrictions on these channels were withdrawn. The government does not care that this act is defaming Pakistan at the international level.
While lamenting the government’s inability to stop the drone attacks, Baloch said: “The joke of drone attacks with the people of country should not continue any longer.” He said the continuation of drone attacks was meant to tell the people that Pakistan was not a sovereign country.
He said the Interior Ministry had also failed in stopping the target killings in Balochistan and Karachi.
As Baloch paused, another PML-N member Khawaja Saad Rafiq, on a point of order, also condemned the drone attacks, saying that the incidents of terrorism and suicide attacks were increasing as a result of such aggression.
He also condemned the increase in petroleum prices and closure of Geo Super. “We are walking out of the House as a protest against the drone attacks, increase in the petroleum prices and curbs on Geo television,” he said.
PPP-Sherpao chief Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao strongly condemned the drone attacks in the tribal areas, saying that instead of making diplomatic efforts to stop the drone attacks, there should be some indigenous solution to this violence.
He pointed out that the law and order situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Fata was deteriorating day by day, resulting in chaos in the society.
He said the government should review its foreign policy and adopt a strict stance to stop the drone attacks inside Pakistan, adding that parliament will have to play its role about it.
He also asked the government to revisit its war on terror policy, saying operations in Kurram and Mohmand agencies were still in progress.
He said the Fata Reforms Package was waiting approval of the president for implementation, adding that all the political parties were united on the issue that the Political Parties Act should be enforced in the tribal areas and reforms be implemented immediately.
He said the government should inform the masses as to why the drone attacks had not been stopped. “People want to know the reasons behind incidents of target killings and terrorism in Balochistan and Karachi, increase in petroleum prices and release of US citizen Raymond Davis,” he commented.
PPP lawmaker Noor Alam Khan, taking part in the debate on the presidential address, said President Zardari had made history by addressing the joint sitting of parliament for the fourth consecutive time in three years.
He said the president in his speech strongly condemned the incident of desecration of the holy Quran, besides lodging a protest with the US.
He said the credit goes to founder of the PPP Zulfikar Ali Bhutto for uniting the Muslim Ummah and laying the foundation of Pakistan’s nuclear programme.
APP adds: Meanwhile, the National Assembly offered Fateha for the victims of drone attacks, target killings and other incidents of terrorism.
Hamid Saeed Kazmi led the Fateha on the request of Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi.
Earlier, Abdul Qadir Khanzada of Muttahida Qaumi Movement had requested to offer Fateha for the party’s 45 workers who recently lost their lives in the incidents of target killings in Karachi.
Source: The News