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Fawad Chaudhry, Mushahidullah trade barbs in Senate

ISLAMABAD: , Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday heavily criticized Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Mushahidullah for what he termed “recruiting whole family” in Pakistan International Airlines.

Rejecting the Senate Chairman’s request to apologise for using foul language against the PML-N leader, Fawad Chaudhry said that he will not apologise for “people like Mushahidullah appoint people on political basis in state-run organisations” which results in huge losses.

The minister, who last week accused the PML-N leader of similar wrongdoings while using his influence to appoint his family members in the organization  repeated his allegations before Senate.

Infuriated, Mushahidullah too responded which turned the exchange into a shouting match which ended after Senate Chairman’s intervention.

Answering  a question regarding drug traffickers, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said Anti-Narcotics Force has been acting against drug traffickers.

He said the federal and provincial governments need to work in coordination to check drug trafficking.

The minister stressed the need for establishing rehabilitation centers for drug addicts saying a fresh survey about drug addicts should also be conducted.

Responding to a question about erstwhile FATA’s merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Ali Muhammad Khan said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is very much ready for it. He said Levies Force willbe merged into police in the tribal districts.

In his speech, PPP Senator Mian Raza Rabbani said atmosphere of the House should not be vitiated by raising controversial issues.

Minister of State for Revenue, Hammad Azhar said that the government had to go to IMF under compelling economic circumstances caused by the last two governments.

Speaking on a point of public interest in the Senate, he said public sector enterprises loss has reached equal to the country’s annual defence budget of 1200 billion rupees and Current Account Deficit soared to 18 billion dollars.

Hammad Azhar said former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail himself had admitted that the PML-N government committed mistake by not devaluing rupee. He said exports decreased during the last five years.

The Minister of State said the previous governments had to go to IMF because the fiscal space gained through the loans was not used for structural reforms.

He said the PTI government will fully utilize that fiscal space by introducing reforms, which will ensure that no future government goes to IMF.

Hammad Azhar said had the government not taken corrective measures in view of the prevailing economic condition, the Current Account Deficit would have reached 25 billion dollars.

He said a dollar value against rupee is 133 rupees and stock market is also recovering for two days.

Responding to the criticism of the government for the recent price-hike, Leader of the House in the Senate, Shibli Faraz said it is regrettable that the people, who mismanaged economy over the past ten years, are speaking against the government that took charge of the affairs just 50 days ago.

He said the policies enforced by the PML-N and PPP governments made the rich, richer and the poor, poorer.

Shibli Faraz said the government has set its direction right, which will bring solution to the current problems.

He expressed the confidence that most of the problems being discussed today will be solved after five years.

He said the opposition should support the government in implementation of its reforms for betterment of the people and the country.

Regarding arrest of former Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif by National Accountability Bureau, Shibli Faraz said the government has nothing to do with it.

He said the case against Shahbaz Sharif had been initiated during the last PML-N government. He said law is equal for every citizen.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Khan suggested that parliament should debate the issues like energy and economy at length and National Action Plan should be framed on those issues.

Senator Faisal Javed said the government had to go to IMF to manage the mess created by the PPP and PML-N governments. He said the step will help the government improve economic condition of the country.

Faisal Javed said Prime Minister Imran Khan will not tolerate corruption and accountability will be conducted at all costs.

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