Published On: Sat, Sep 14th, 2019
Published in Category: Islamabad

Qureshi assures Sindh govt that centre will not interfere in Karachi

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday said the centre would not interfere in the workings of the Sindh government.

Addressing the National Assembly session, Qureshi while assuring parliamentarians from Sindh, said the federal government would not let any harm comes in the way of provincial autonomy. “Our MNAs from Sindh should not have any concerns,” Qureshi said.

Criticising, Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Qureshi said it was the beginning of his political career and he should be careful about what he says. “I do not have doubts about Bilawal’s patriotism, but he should exercise caution while speaking on such matters.”

The foreign minister further said every Sindhi will stand by Pakistan. “Did the muhajirs not migrate for Pakistan? Did the muhajirs not lay their lives for Pakistan?”

Qureshi urged National Assembly members from Sindh not to create an impression for the world that there is “a wave of provincial discrimination” in Pakistan. Qureshi said that it was not reasonable for him to speak about “Sindhu desh” and “Pakhtunistan”.

“Those who spoke about Pakhtunistan, pit gae (were defeated); those who speak about Sindhu desh will also be defeated,” he warned. “I am hopeful that every Sindhi will support Pakistan,” he said.

Qureshi said: “You should have no fear; Sindh is an important unit of this country.” “I am giving a policy statement on behalf of this government: we have respected the Constitution in the past, we respect it now, and will continue to do so. “We have no intentions to mess with your government for no reason,” he assured.

Additionally, Qureshi said that Dr Farogh Naseem had clarified his remarks regarding invoking Article 149 in Karachi. The foreign minister said that Dr Naseem had said his remarks on the matter were being distorted and misrepresented and now that the minister had issued a clarification, there was nothing to be fearful of.

Speaking about the issue in occupied Kashmir, the foreign minister said Pakistan has effectively and forcefully highlighted the Kashmir dispute at the international level under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“Pakistan has registered major diplomatic successes on Kashmir and India is now resorting to a propaganda campaign to hide its failures including the one it faced at the United Nations Security Council,” he noted.

Clarifying the position of the government, the foreign minister said the stance of the present government on Kashmir is the same which is of the entire nation. “India is in a defensive position like never before,” he added. He said that four US senators wrote to President Trump and urged him to intervene in order to end atrocities in the occupied valley.

Meanwhile the National Assembly was informed on Friday that an additional amount of one hundred and ninety two billion rupees has been recovered as a result of PTI government’s successful campaign against power pilferage.

Minister for Power Omar Ayub Khan told the house during question hour that no load-shedding is being carried out on eighty percent feeders across the country.

The Minister said that an addition of 3,364 megawatts of power has been made in the national grid during the tenure of present government.

Omar Ayub said the government is giving priority to the Thar coal and renewable energy to produce electricity.

Minister for Communications Murad Saeed told the house that National Highway Authority intends to dualize 790 kilometer long Chaman-Quetta-Karachi road.

Murad Saeed reaffirmed government’s commitment to the construction of western route of China Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

Parliamentary Secretary for Human Rights Lal Chand told the house that a survey is being launched to determine the exact number of disabled persons in the country. He said the survey will help the government formulate suitable policies for the welfare of disabled persons.

Minister for Power Omer Ayub told the House that in the first phase, Saudi Arabia will make an investment of twenty billion dollars in Pakistan.

He said that this investment also include the construction of an oil refinery in Gwadar.

Parliamentary Secretary on Foreign Affairs Andleeb Abbas expressed concerns over the tension between the US and Iran.

She said all the parties should resolve the matters through dialogue. She expressed satisfaction that the US President has now offered dialogue to his Iranian counterpart.

A number of bills were also introduced in the House on Friday.

These include, The Superior Courts (Court Dress and Mode of Address) Order (Repeal) Bill, 2019, The Pakistan Coinage (Amendment) Bill, 2019, The Banks (Nationalization) (Amendment) bill, 2019, The Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) Bill, 2019, The Loans for Agricultural, Commercial and Industrial Purposes (Amendment) bill, 2019 and The Joint Maritime Information Organization Bill, 2019.

The House also passed a resolution to extend the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority Ordinance, 2019 for a further period of 120 days.

A number of ordinances were laid before the House on Friday.

These include, “The Pakistan Penal Code (Amendment) Ordinance 2019”, “Federal Government Employees Housing Authority Ordinance, 2019”, “National Counter Terrorism Authority (Amendment) Ordinance 2019” and “National Information Technology Board Ordinance, 2019.

The House today adopted an amendment providing for election of more than one standing Committee for a ministry having more than one division and where divisions are headed by separate ministers. The House will now meet on Monday at 5:00 PM.

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