President Alvi, Steel Mills privatisation under fire in National Assembly

PPP's Nafisa says president acting like dictator, has damaged institutions: Asks Imran to become country’s PM, not just Nathiagali's

By: News Desk      Published: 04:10 PM, 10 Jun, 2020
President Alvi, Steel Mills privatisation under fire in National Assembly

The issue of Pakistan Steel Mills privatization and the promises made in the past continued to haunt the ruling party, as PPP’s Agha Rafiullah protested against the sacking of the employees in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

He was displaying a placard in the House, asking Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar to fulfil his promise and to stand by the Pakistan Steel Mills workers, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

However, Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri told him that use of placards and posters in the House was against the rules.

Agha was elected to the National Assembly from Malir district, the area where the Steel Mills is located.

Similarly, Jam Abdul Karim Bijar, who also represents the same area, questioned who had appointed HUBCO as a consultant for the Steel Mills.

He said people were inducted in the Steel Mills during the tenure of Babar Ghauri (MQM-P) and the ruling party members, including Asad Umar, used to talk about making the organisation functional and standing by the workers who had been rendered jobless by the PTI government.

On the other hand, Communication Minister Murad Saeed held both PML-N and PPP responsible for the losses suffered by the state-run entities. It was the PML-N which had shortlisted the Pakistan Steel Mills for privatisation, he said and added that the government was working bringing reforms in the state-run entities.

Meanwhile, PPP Information Secretary Nafisa Shah asked Prime Minister Imran to become the prime minister of the entire country, not just Nathiagali, as she blasted the government over governance.

Addressing the National Assembly, she said the incumbent president’s role was like that of a dictator and criticised him for issuing ordinances by bypassing the Parliament.

President Arif Alvi had caused severe damage to the constitutional institutions unlike Asif Ali Zardari who, during his tenure, had strengthened the Parliament despite being the most powerful president in Pakistan’s history, said the PPP leader.

Nafisa also called for withdrawing the notification about the NFC reconstitution which is line with the party policy. This demand has been repeatedly made by the party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Noting that the opposition is being targeted despite the multiple challenges faced by the country, she also took the government to the task over the failure to tackle the coronavirus situation and asked the prime minister who should be blamed for the PIA plane crash which claimed 97 lives. An attempt is being made to make the dead pilot a scapegoat, alleged Nafisa.

Earlier, PML-N leader Khurram Dastgir said no matter whose mistake caused the Karachi plane crash, the government and the PIA were responsible for the incident.

He said the prime minister used to give sermons on the resignation submitted after a ship sank in South Korea, but who has tendered his resignation over the Karachi plane crash. Who resigned after the sugar scam, Khurram remarked.

Citing the government failures on different issues, he said circular debt had crossed over Rs2,000 billion and debt to the tune of Rs1,300 in 22 months but not a single project was initiated.

Khurram said how many problems the PML-N could list as people were forced to stand in long queues for petrol while locusts – an issue raised by the opposition six months back – had destroying crops and plants in the country.

But it wasn’t just the opposition members criticising the government, as Khawaja Sheraz Mehmood of the ruling party said petrol had gone missing just like sugar and flour.

Earlier, Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan again promised a transparent inquiry into the PIA plane crash and told the House that some families had refused to accept the financial assistance.