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ISLAMABAD: After weeks of wrangling, the government and the opposition Tuesday reached a consensus on two key Financial Action Task Force -related bills and referred them to the select committee of the House for consideration.

The National Assembly standing committees presented the reports on "The Control of Narcotic Substances (Amendment) Bill, 2020" and "The Anti-Money Laundering (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020" in the house, which were referred to the select committee of the house on the request of the PPP's Naveed Qamar for further deliberation.

A report on "The Islamabad Capital Territory Waqf Properties Act, 2020" was also presented in the house, which was also sent to the select committee of the house by the speaker National Assembly.

Speaking in the house, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) parliamentary leader in the National Assembly, Khawaja Asif, said that Maryam Nawaz always appeared before the courts but today's incident exposed the incompetence of the Punjab government.

He strongly condemned the incident that took place on the occasion of Maryam Nawaz's appearance in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) office today, and said that if actions against the PML-N workers were not stopped, the rulers would be responsible.

He said that the united opposition and the PML-N demand immediate release of the arrested workers, adding we are not against accountability, as "I myself appeared before the NAB for accountability" but the Punjab government will be responsible for what has been started.

Asif said that whenever political leaders appear before courts, workers gather in their support, similarly, when Maryam was summoned by the NAB, thousands of workers gathered, but this time the police used brutal force against the workers.

He said that the front screen of Maryam's car was broken.

There is not as much security in the Supreme Court as there is outside the NAB office.

Responding to the PML-N leader's speech, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the incident took place during Maryam's appearance before the NAB, and keeping in view the facts, steps would be taken to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

Qureshi said that this was an isolated incident, the likes of which have never been witnessed before, it will be properly investigated.

The minister said that Maryam should present her position in the court, agitation and violence was not a wise move.

He said that the government would try not to let this happen again.

The National Assembly was informed that Rs50 billion have been set aside to provide subsidy to the farmers on different agriculture-related inputs.

Responding to a calling attention notice, the Parliamentary Secretary for National Food Security, Ameer Sultan, said that the federal and provincial governments were holding consultations to formulate a uniform policy to grant subsidy of 37 billion rupees to the farmers on the prices of fertilisers especially the DAP.

He said the provinces were willing to provide subsidy to the farmers on fertilisers from rabi season, adding development of the agriculture sector was the priority of the incumbent government.

Three bills, "The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020", "The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020", and the "National Emergency Measures to Quarantine and Quarantine Facilities for Security of Pakistan Bill", were laid before the House. The house was adjourned to meet again on Wednesday at 10:30am.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020