Tuesday, October 12
Punjab wants Dr Aafia back in Pakistan
The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed resolution for constructing Kalabagh Dam, and asked the federal government for evolving consensus among the provinces to meet this end.
After suspending rules, the Assembly also unanimously adopted two resolutions relating to an earlier release and honourable return of Dr Aafia Siddiqui to Pakistan, and Centre government’s diplomatic and moral support for the Kashmiris, while respectively condemning the US for handing down inhumane and unjustified punishment to the medic, and the Indian govt for deploying more troops in the Occupied Kashmir.
In a resolution, moved by Opposition Leader Ch Zaheer-ud-Din, the federal govt was asked to develop consensus among all the provinces for the construction of the KBD since the viable Dam was deemed to be of huge importance for the country. “In order to do this, the Centre should initiate reconciliatory efforts for generating consensus among all the federating units,” stated the Resolution, which was not opposed by the members, and Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah requested the Chair to constitute a committee, headed by Ch Zaheer and comprising Senior Minister Raja Riaz Ahmed and others, for taking the first step in this regard. Ch Zaheer was critical of losing 41maf water to the sea in the absence of the Dam during the recent floods. He was of the view that other proposed dams were facing serious technical and viability issues. While offering himself for serious and honest effort, Ch Zaheer asked Rana Sana to get him a post in the federal govt for initiating the move for evolving consensus among provinces. Though the Law Minister had resorted to his usual mantra of quizzing the Opposition about its 5-year stint in govt and doing nothing for the KBD construction, it did not digress the debate, and the resolution was passed unanimously.
Opposition’s Ch Sher Ali presented a resolution about Dr Aafia and her imprisonment by the US. It was stated that the Assembly condemned 86-year incarceration by America on the flimsiest of grounds and a case based on a concocted story. “The House is of the view that the punishment speaks volumes about the emptiness of claims by human rights champion US, which has punished the Muslim Ummah and all Pakistanis, who are agonised immensely at this,” averred the resolution, while demanding of the federal govt for taking steps for bringing Dr Aafia back honourably.
Rana Sana read a resolution, which condemned the Indian govt for committing barbaric atrocities against the Kashmiris, who were rendering innumerable sacrifices for their just right of self-determination. “The movement for the independence of Kashmir is at its zenith. Now Pakistan should play its due role, and Kashmiris need its full diplomatic and moral support for which the Centre should play its role,” mentioned the resolution.
Moreover, three resolutions regarding free education till graduation, constructions on bypasses, declaring Arabic compulsory from Class-I, providing protection to doctors and teachers at institutions and developing civilian nuclear programme for energy purposes were pended by the Speaker upon Law Minister’s request.