PPP to be with govt against any ‘adventure’

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ISLAMABAD: Expressing concern over the ongoing civil-military tiff, a key senator from the main opposition PPP extended on Tuesday his party’s support to the PML-N government against any “undemocratic adventurism”. “In the event of any threat to the civil and democratic dispensation at the hands of undemocratic forces, civil society and democratic political parties must join hands to support democratic forces against any undemocratic adventurism,” Farhatullah Babar said in the Senate during the “Zero Hour”, which allows a member to raise and speak on any issue that is not on the agenda.

Expressing regret over “publicly expressed disagreements” between the civilian and military leaderships, Senator Babar, who is also official spokesman for former president Asif Zardari, said he feared that the ongoing row could threaten the civil dispensation.

Perhaps realising the sensitivity of the issue, no other member from the treasury or opposition benches spoke on the matter during otherwise dull proceedings of the house.

“For quite some time, there have been reports of a tiff between the civilian government and security establishment, highlighted by the army chief’s speech at the SSG Headquarters, followed by leaked reports about the displeasure expressed at the subsequent corps commanders meeting over recent statements of some ministers,” Mr Babar said, adding that the army’s reaction to the statements of federal ministers was “uncalled for” and “inappropriate.”

“Such kind of public posturing by the security establishment is uncalled for and disturbing,” he said, adding that he had reports that posters of the army chief, like those of politicians, had been put on display along a roadside in Nowshera.

Mr Babar asked the civil and political forces to join hands against “adventurism or threat of adventurism by any coalition of undemocratic forces”.


Walkout:


The house witnessed two walkouts – one by the combined opposition in protest against the government’s move to lay the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2014 and the second by Awami National Party (ANP) senators over the alleged kidnappings of the party’s workers in Karachi.

The first walkout was led by PPP’s parliamentary leader Raza Rabbani, who said the PMDC ordinance was “unconstitutional” in the light of the 18th Amendment. Under the amendment, the subject fell under the jurisdiction of the Council of Common Interests (CCI). His viewpoint was later supported by a number of other opposition senators.

The ANP members staged the token walkout after Shahi Syed alleged that his party’s workers were being kidnapped for ransom in Karachi in the presence of law enforcement personnel. He said intelligence agencies were tapping phone calls of politicians, but were unable to trace calls made by kidnappers.

Following the directives of Senate Chairman Nayyar Bokhari, the government also tabled a draft of the national security policy in the house.

Opposition senators had been protesting over non-presentation of the document, which had been introduced by the interior minister in the National Assembly a couple of months ago.

Earlier during the question hour, the government informed the house that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had so far disposed of or decided 6,532 corruption cases.

In reply to a question raised by PPP’s Sughra Imam, Law Minister Pervez Rasheed said the number of cases decided through courts, voluntary return, plea bargain and transfer to other departments stood at 3,518 whereas NAB had disposed of or closed 3,014 cases. He said 1,770 people had been convicted through courts or plea bargain. A present 1,467 cases are at various stages in NAB. The bureau has recovered Rs258.39 billion from offenders.