Absence of ministers irk allies, opposition parties in Senate

Ijaz Kakakhel

Both the opposition and coalition partners of the federal government on Friday protested absence of ministers in the Upper House of the Parliament.

They strongly reacted to absence of cabinet members in the Senate session and they again and again asked the Chairman Senate to take notice of it. Pakistan People’s Party senior leader, Senator Raza Rabbani also voiced his concern over the absence of federal ministers from Senate session. Speaking on the floor of the House, Rabbani said that ministers were not taking the Senate seriously. He asked Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to talk to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif about the absence of federal ministers.

“I will not speak in today’s session to record my protest against the absence of ministers,” he said while lashing out at his own nine-party coalition government.

On the occasion, Senator Saleem Mandviwala while congratulating the Pakistanis claimed that Pakistan has been removed from the gray list of Financial Action Task Force.

When Senate Chairman asked for debate on budget, Opposition leader Shahzad Waseem said that there were no ministers in the House and whether they should talk to the House’s walls.

The allies of the government also burst into anger over absence of ministers and said that not a single minister from the cabinet is present in the House.

PTI Senator Faisal Javed said that his party is ready to return to the National Assembly if rulers sell their assets abroad and get their money back to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the upper house continued debate on Finance Bill 2022-23.

Participating in the debate, Senator Faisal Javed urged the government not to stop funds for dams’ construction and social welfare programs of the PTI government which were aimed at providing relief to poor people. He alleged that the coalition government has stopped the welfare programs initiated by the PTI government.

Maulana Faiz Muhammad said more funds should be allocated to Agriculture sector to enhance productivity. He claimed that without development of agriculture, the country could not progress. Others who participated in the debate included Kamran Murtaza, Senator Kamran Michael and Haji Hidayat Ullah.