Walkout in NA against blockage of TV channels
ISLAMABAD: The opposition on Tuesday staged a token walkout from the National Assembly when the speaker reserved his ruling after a debate on adjournment motions of the opposition on blockage of transmissions of Geo TV and other local channels in Karachi and Lahore on May 5 while providing live coverage of the caravan of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudbry.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sher Afghan Niazi informed the House that according to the opposition, the transmission of local TV channels was suspended in Karachi and Lahore by a specific organization and, therefore, the government was not responsible for it.
The media persons walked out of the Press Gallery.
Later, Minister of State for Interior Zafar lqbal Warraieb came to the press lobby and assured them that a proper inquiry will be conducted into the blockage of the transmissions following which the media persons returned to the press gallery.
Warraich informed the House about the apprehensions of the media men and assured the house that no such incident would take place on May 12, when Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry visits Karachi.
DR. Sher Afgan informed the House that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority
(Pemra) came under the Cabinet Division and added that if Pemra found involved in suspending the transmissions on May 5, strict action would be taken against those responsible.
Earlier, the opposition debated the adjournment motions and termed the blockage of transmissions against the freedom of press.
Those who spoke on the occasion included Liaquat Baloch, Dr Farid Paracha and Raja Hanif Abbasi of the MMA, Mahmood Achakzai of the Pakhtunkhwa Miffi Awami Party, Yousaf Taipur and Abdul Mujeeb Pirzada of the PPPP and Pervez Malik of the PML-N.
Meanwhile, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) came under fire for allotting illegal plots to NG0s and other private organisations. Opposition legislators Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, Ghulam Murtaza Satti, Syed Zafar All Shah and others invited the attention of the House to the allotment of land in Islamabad by the government to the NG0s.
Responding to the allegations, Warraich asked the speaker to refer the matter to the committee concerned for investigations.He said that the committee should be directed to investigate the matter thoroughly, especially over the past 25 years, and find out who were allotted plots and by whom. At this, the speaker referred the matter to the relevant committee. Earlier, Nayyar Hussain Bukhari of the PPPP alleged that 32 plots had been allotted illegally to the NG0s in Islamabad, saying that according to the Rules of CDA 1993, criteria of allotment of commercial and residential plots were clearly laid down. He said that allotments of 32 plots were made against the rules. ‘Why were these plots allotted to favourite NG0s and under which capacity?” he asked and demanded that strict action should be taken against whosoever had allotted these plots.
Satti alleged that the plots were allotted as political bribes and the issue must be investigated. Zafar Shah demanded strict action against the people involved in the allotment of plots to NG0s.
Meanwhile, the Chairperson,Dr Noor Jehan Panezi, adjourned the house to at 5 pm on Wednesday
Source: The News