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Submit 1.5 bn gift to Guinness Book, Shah tells govt

19 March, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly (NA) Syed Khursheed Shah on Tuesday asked the government to submit the $1.5 billion gift to Guinness Book of World Record.

He said the government should tell the nation the truth instead of cooking up so many lies regarding the "gift of $1.5 billion" from the Kingdom of Saudi Arab (KSA).He said the government should take the nation into confidence on the "secret deal" in the coming session of the National Assembly, starting from March 24. "To hide one lie, the government has to speak hundred more lies so it would be better for the government to tell the truth before the nation about the mystery of $1.5 billion from Kingdom of Saudi Arab," he said.

He was talking to newsmen at his chamber at the Parliament House. The opposition leader said rulers call it a gift on the one hand and on the other, they say $1.5 billion has been given on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's personal guarantee. "It should be added in the Guinness Book of World Records as no one has received such a huge gift," he added.

On the consultation process with the government to name the new chief election commissioner (CEC), he said consensus was made with Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on one name. He said it was decided to remove legal hurdles and a bill in this regard was passed in the National Assembly, with the support of the PTI and MQM. "However, when the bill was presented in the Senate, Opposition Leader in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan and Mian Raza Rabbani were of the opinion that the bill be passed after consultation with allied parties but on that day both (Aitzaz and Rabbani) did not come into the house and the bill was referred to the committee," he said.

The opposition leader said had asked Ishaq Dar whether to wait for outcome of the Senate standing committee or propose some other name. "Senator Ishaq Dar has sought time. He has not made further contact. We are still waiting for his response," he added.

He said as per law, if there is agreement between the prime minister and the opposition leader on name if the CEC, then the name goes to the committee for final approval, he added. On statement of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar in the National Assembly (NA) regarding Islamabad Katcheri attack, he said Nisar had acted irresponsibly. "The interior minister should decide about his statement," he added.

On Taliban's reaction to Defense Minister Khawaja Asif's statement, Shah said the government should respond to it. The opposition leader said the whole country is a peaceful area, so Taliban should refrain from making their choices for certain areas.

He justified prime minister's consultation with Imaran Khan and not with the opposition leader on the issue of talks with Taliban, saying that Khan's party rules KP where operation could have taken place. He said he would welcome if the prime minister consults him as doors are never closed in politics.


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