ISLAMABAD – The treasury and the opposition, on Monday, entered into a heated argument in the Senate when Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) accused Prime Minister Imran Khan for his “failure to implement the party manifesto to address the crises being faced by the country.”
Both sides in the house rose from the seats to protest against each other after PPP Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, taking part in the budget debate, used critical remarks for PM saying that the premier had negated all his promises and claims he used to make before coming into power. There was an uproar in the house until the Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani intervened by expunging some of the remarks of Senator Tangi and advised the senators from both sides of the aisle to be patient and to have their seats.Leader of the House Senator Dr Shahzad Waseem also protested over the remarks and said that they would not allow anyone in the house to make a false statement in the name of budget speech.
He said that the member has talked about their party manifesto while naming Prime Minister Imran Khan. “These are the people who have to decide who has implemented the manifesto and who has not,” he asserted in loud voice.
PTI Senator Waseem reminded the PPP of their slogan of “roti, kapra and makan” given by its founding father Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and said that it couldn’t be fulfilled while generations got ruined. He claimed that Larkana, a district in Sindh and the home constituency of Bhutto family, was still poverty-hit. He said that Larkana was the place where PM during his recent visit had distributed Rs 2.2 billion among 125,000 poor families of the area. “PM distributed this money in the area where they (PPP) are in power since last over two decades,” he said. Earlier, Senator Tangi made an emotional budget speech severely criticizing the ruling PTI and PM Imran Khan. He said that the PM during his opposition days had been making claims to end inflation and unemployment, to introduce a uniform education system in the country, to address difficulties of overseas Pakistanis, to give employment to 10 million people and provide housing to five million people.
PPP lawmaker said that PM had also been promising to bring back looted Pakistani money of worth billions of dollars that had been allegedly stashed abroad besides increasing tax collection in billions of rupees. He remarked that PM used to say to the people that he should be called as a “puppet PM” if he failed to get his manifesto fulfilled. “PM had been saying that his cabinet would be too short to have 15 members only and that he would not run the country though his cronies,” he added.
“PM had promised to implement his 34-point manifesto to make Pakistan a prosperous country,” the opposition legislator said and questioned whether PM who is also the chairman of his party got implemented one percent part of his manifesto. Following this, he used strict remarks for the PM and said that he was forced to say this over all these failures of the ruling party. On this, the treasury members launched a protested by rising from their seats and the Chairman got the opposition lawmaker’s mike turned off. The opposition senators mostly from PPP also came in favour of Senator Tangi and rose from their seats and subsequently, the house witnessed a pandemonium.
After the chairman succeeded to keep the house in order, Senator Tangi launched a second attack against the ruling party saying that on one hand, the people were protesting due to inflation and unemployment and on the other side, they were being advised by PM himself “not to worry.” He said that corruption and favoritism in the PTI rule were on the rise. He questioned where was the PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen who had been allegedly found in sugar scam. “Why the government does not arrest him,” he again questioned. He mentioned the flour and sugar crises in the country as well and also named Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar in this connection. He advised that the government should take care of its responsibilities adding that there were flour, sugar, energy and petrol crises in the country. Senator Tangi also said that the anti-corruption watchdogs like National Accountability Bureau should take action and start investigation over the statement of federal minister Azam Khan Swati that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was involved in corruption of Rs1 trillion per annum.
Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party Senator Usman Khan Kakar, in his speech, alleged that heads of two major opposition parties, PPP and PML-N, were in collusion with the government. He warned the government saying that any move directed at taking away provincial autonomy or reversing the 18th Amendment would be forcefully resisted.
PML-N Senator Nuzhat Sadiq criticized the government decision to cut the funding for Higher Education Commission (HEC) in the proposed budget. Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Sirajul Haq said that the government had increased its non-development budget, while a further cut had been made on the development budget. He viewed that there should simply be one tax instead of over 40 different type of taxes. He called for enforcement of Islamic system of Zakat and Ushr.