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Senate refers motion against Imran to privilege committee

19 February, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: The Upper House of Parliament on Monday unanimously adopted a privilege motion against PTI chief Imran Khan and referred it to the standing committee concerned.

Both opposition and government senators criticised Imran Khan's statement in which he had claimed that senators are elected on the basis of money. The privilege motion was signed by 28 senators.

They were of the view that Imran Khan has insulted the Senate and he should explain his position. Some senators said that if Imran Khan had any evidence against any senator regarding his selection through money, he should present the same in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

On a point of order, ANP Senator Zahid Khan invited attention of the House to Imran Khan's statement that all senators are paying less tax than him and that the senators are elected through money.

Abdur Rauf of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) claimed that he did not know who had deposited candidature fee for him. He also said that his children did not even own a motorcycle "then how can Imran Khan claim that all senators are involved in corruption?"

PPP Senator Karim Ahmad Khawaja said Imran Khan's statement is "very disappointing", and added that he had never given even a penny for his election as senator.

PML-N Senator Rafique Rajwana said Imran Khan's statement is tantamount to the contempt of Senate.

"Imran Khan does not have the privilege to breach the privilege of another House".

Senator Saeed Ghani claimed that Imran Khan always issued contradictory statements, and said the PTI chief should respect the mandate given to him by people.

MQM Senator Nasreen Jalil said Imran Khan's statement is irresponsible. PML-Q Senator Kamil Ali Agha also suggested sending the matter to the privilege committee.

Later, Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq announced that a privilege motion, signed by 28 senators of all political parties, has been referred to the committee concerned.

The Senate also debated the privatisation policy of the government. Senator Shahi Syed claimed that the government is going for privatisation to benefit its own people instead of supporting the government. The government has also failed to get outstanding amount of PTCL cleared and KESC privatisation had also not been very successful, he added.

"We are not against the privatisation but against the method the government has adopted."

Senator Mohsin Khan Leghari said that Rs 500 billion per year loss of state enterprises is not acceptable and this amount might be spent on power generation and other public welfare programmes.

Political interference in public entities is responsible for its destruction, he maintained. However, he also said that most of the privatised entities were shut down after privatisation. He also opposed privatisation of profitable public sector enterprises.

PML-N Senator Mushahidullah, speaking on the occasion, asked opposition senators to stop political scoring over privatisation. The PPP government in 1994 announced first privatisation policy and the same policy was included in the PPP's manifesto, he said.

He also assured the senators that that no profitable entity would be privatised.

During the last five years, the PPP inducted more people in Pakistan Steel Mills and PIA, which made these organisations unable to pay salaries to their employees, he said. He also claimed that on April 24, 2011, the Council of Common Interest had decided privatisation of 31 state enterprises but the PPP could not raised its voice at that time against its government.

End.

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