Parliament continues debate on prevailing situation

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Parliament on Wednesday continued discussion on the prevailing political situation in the country. Taking part in the debate, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said an agreement has been reached with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf on five out of six of their demands. Finance minister who is part of the government negotiating team said as far demand for resignation of the Prime Minister is concerned; the parliament has categorically rejected it. He said summary procedure of investigation of constituencies and terms of reference of judicial commission are being worked out. Ishaq Dar said PTI formally handed over their draft of demands to the government committee on 30th August. He said a number of meetings of the two committees have been held to thrash out the issues. He said the demands of the PTI which have been accepted include electoral reforms and reconstruction of Election Commission. He said three out of six demands are related to future democratic system in Pakistan. He said no political party opposes these three demands. Regarding terms of reference, he said both sides are deliberating upon it and an agreement in this regard is expected soon. The finance minister said that we cannot direct the Chief Justice of Pakistan to head the Judicial Commission. However both the committees can request him to head the commission. Speaking in the Parliament, Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafique urged Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaaf to return to the parliament and this will not be consider their failure. He said all institutions have been working under the ambit of the constitution. He said show of sit-ins has flopped. He said the parliament will again jointly defend any extra-constitutional move against democratic system in the country. He said the house should also give their suggestions to tackle the current situation. He said seeds of hatred have been sown, which are feared to bring unexpected consequences in the future. He said cases under Article 6 can be registered against Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri if the parliament desires so. Giving policy statement in the session, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said seven terrorists were arrested while three were killed in Naval Dockyard incident in Karachi on 6th September. He said investigations from the arrested terrorist are underway. He said one Naval personnel embraced martyrdom while guarding Naval dockyard. Giving the details of 6th September incident, Khawaja Asif said terrorists breached the security of dockyard on 6th September where they were engaged by Naval security who successfully made the terrorist attempt a failure. The Defense Minister said one former Naval Officer who was expelled from the Navy in 2013 is also found involved in this incident. He said this incident is a blowback of continued operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan. Khwaja Asif said five 9 mm pistols, three intercoms, four suicide jackets, two detonators, handcuffs and other ammunition was recovered. He said the conspiracy is not possible without any internal support, however, investigations are in progress. About Sumangli, he said suspicious activity was monitored under night vision surveillance on the night of 14th August, which was timely encountered by the reinforcement forces. He said four terrorists were killed in the operation. He said no loss of life was reported in Sumangli airbase except minor injuries to some security personnel. Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy bravely foiled attacks on Sumangli airbase in Quetta on 14th August and Naval Dockyard in Karachi on 6th September respectively. He said terrorists in both attempts remained failed in damaging strategic assets. About the flood situation, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that 750,000 cusces water would pass through Trimmu headworks and 100 feet breach has already been made on left side to reduce pressure on the headworks. He said it was done only to avert big destruction to Trimmu headworks. The minister said that there were no threats to the barrages including Guddu, Sukkur and Kotri as the flood water would be within the capacity of barrages designs. Sharing updates of recent floods, he said the flood affected 120 villages, 625 kilometre roads, 15 bridges, water supply schemes and telephone infrastructure in the Azad Kashmir. Winding the debate, Shazia Mari urged all political forces to focus on national issues like flood in the country instead of indulging in sit-ins and long marches. Parliament will now meet on next Wednesday at five pm. NNI

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