Meeting of Parliamentary Committee on National Security to be held on July 1

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security will be held in Islamabad on Thursday to discuss Afghan situation.

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Responding to the points of the opposition members in the National Assembly on Wednesday, he said important leaders of the opposition parties invited to attend the meeting will be taken into confidence with regards to recent developments in Afghanistan and the national security. He said that opposition parties were also invited to the foreign office where they were briefed about Pakistan’s viewpoint on the Afghan situation.

The Foreign Minister strongly criticized the opposition members for targeting the personality of the speaker. He said the speaker is the custodian of the house and targeting him is contrary to rules and procedures.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari speaks about respecting the parliamentary procedures but under which parliamentary traditions, the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly was not allowed to make a speech on the provincial government’s budget and the opposition there was deprived of the chairmanship of public accounts committee.

Earlier, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the proceedings of the house should be conducted in accordance with the rules. He said the budget is linked with the lives of the people. He however, said the procedures were not followed in the passage of the budget yesterday.

Responding to the concerns raised by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other opposition members, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser said the house passed the finance bill 2021 yesterday as per the rules and procedures.

He said 244 members from opposition and treasury benches participated in the general discussion on the budget. He said the record time of almost ninety three hours was given to the budget which shows seriousness of the members of parliament towards parliamentary oversight and their constitutional responsibility in this regard.

Winding up discussion on the supplementary demands for grants for the outgoing fiscal year, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said the government will make honest effort to reduce the supplementary budget. He however, said a proper procedure is followed by the government to approve the supplementary grants.

The Finance Minister pointed out that the supplementary demands for grants were far higher in previous regimes when compared with the PTI government. He said in 2012-13, these were 1.4 trillion rupees and 5.67 trillion rupees in 2013-14. He said the supplementary demands for grants were 600 billion rupees in 2017-18.

Given the powers rested in him, Shaukat Tarin said he announces one honorarium for the staff of different departments who performed duties during the budget session in the parliament house. He said he has also recommended Prime Minister Imran Khan to approve three honoraria, and after his approval one honorarium will be converted to three.

The House today approved forty nine supplementary demands for grants pertaining to different ministries and departments for the outgoing fiscal year.

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