PPP, PML-N display rare deference to the other in NA
28 February, 2013
ISLAMABAD: Contrary to the hard-hitting criticism of each other outside parliament, the ruling PPP and opposition PML-N seemed in a reconciliatory mood in the National Assembly on Wednesday when the treasury agreed to defer a bill on the demand of the opposition, a gesture reciprocated by the latter by helping maintain a conducive environment in the House.
Following the question-hour, the atmosphere in the House turned noisy when chairman of the proceedings, Abdul Ghafoor Chaudhry, interjected in PPP deserter Syed Zafar Ali Shah's long speech on a point of order and then switched off his mike, prompting some members of the PML-N to protest against this move of the Chair. Chaudhry reminded the PML-N that Shah took more than usual time to speak on a point of order, but the opposition party lawmakers insisted that Shah should be allowed to complete his speech.
On being informed about the charged environment, Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza rushed to the House from her chamber and advised the lawmakers to maintain peace and calm. Allowing the floor to PML-N's Khawaja Saad Rafiq on a point of order, Mirza said that it is the beauty of democracy that you agree to disagree with others. Taking the floor, Khawaja Saad said that despite some reservations of the PML-N, parliament had earned a good name by carrying out key legislation.
He listed restoration of judiciary, vibrant media, independent Election Commission of Pakistan and the mechanism evolved for caretaker setup the hallmark of sitting parliament. The bill for establishment of Capital University of Science and Technology further induced positive gestures from both sides of the aisle when the PPP agreed to put on hold this legislation until some objections of PML-N are removed.
Minister for Capital Administration and Development Nazar Mohammad Gondal said that government has no objection over deferring this bill if the PML-N wants their reservations removed before its passage. PML-N's Zahid Hamid misunderstood the bill when he said that a Science and Technology University is already functioning in the federal capital. Gondal, however, clarified that this bill has nothing to do with the existing university is for a new one.
Earlier, Zafar Ali Shah, a deserter of the PPP who joined PML-N, took to task the government and pointed out that President Zardari is attempting to influence the elections in Sindh through various tactics, as no official including those of the ECP can do anything in Sindh without his orders. Ghaus Bux Mehar also endorsed Zafar Ali Shah's reservations and told the House that there are signs of planned rigging in Sindh and urged the House to take notice of flouting of orders of the ECP in Sindh. He also drew attention of the House to a bomb blast on a shrine in his constituency and continued acts of terrorism in upper Sindh.
Meanwhile, Advocate Usman Khan from Balochistan said that people of the province have serious reservations over the handing over of Gwadar Port to China and urged making public of the agreement. He pointed out that the agreement would only benefit China like in the case of Saindak project in which, he said, China benefited a lot and Balochistan got nothing.