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LAHORE: Former President Arif Alvi on Monday welcomes Saudi Arabia's investment in Pakistan, saying we need investment, not aid.

He was talking to media after chairing the meeting of Parliamentary party of Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) along with the opposition leader Ahmed Khan Bachhar.

He emphasised that the security of Chinese workers is the government's responsibility adding that all projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor must be completed.

Arif Alvi believed that foreign investment will improve the national economy, citing the example of Dubai, where Pakistanis have invested $10 billion in real estate.

He stressed the need for peace in the current political situation, saying that those who have been mandated should be given their due so that the economic future can improve.

Arif Alvi questions that if local investors do not invest, how can we expect that foreign investors will invest?

He urged the resolution of political issues to address poverty and unemployment.

Alvi said that PTI expresses solidarity with the oppressed in Palestine. He thanked Norway, Spain, and Ireland for recognising Palestine. He also thanked the South African government for taking Palestine's case to the international court.

Arif Alvi also mentioned the plight of PTI workers who he said were arrested and jailed without evidence. He criticised the military trial of PTI workers, saying it will only lead to more hatred and instability. Arif Alvi praised the judiciary for standing with the law and urges the authorities to learn from the Hamoodur Rehman report.

He demanded the supremacy of law, the release of PTI's founder, and the return of the mandate. He said that he will continue to struggle for truth and justice.

Former President Arif Alvi arrived at the Punjab Assembly, where he was welcomed by opposition leader Ahmed Khan Bachhar and other members.

A meeting of the parliamentary party of the Sunni Ittehad Council was held under the chair of Arif Alvi and the opposition leader Ahmed Khan Bachhar.

The opposition leader briefed the members on assembly affairs, and the members expressed reservations over the new wave of cases and arrests of party leaders across Punjab. The parliamentary party reiterated its full confidence on the leadership of founder PTI.

Earlier, during the assembly session the news of acquittal of PTI founder Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the cypher case by Islamabad High Court (IHC) sparks jubilation in Punjab Assembly. Rana Shahbaz, a member of the assembly, expressed his joy by waving his hand in the air. PTI members celebrated the decision by thumping their desks.

The Minister of Food Bilal Yasin while initiated the discussion on sugarcane procurement, said that 97% payment to 41 sugar mills has been ensured. Bilal Yasin added that 2.5% payment to sugarcane farmers is still pending, while payment to 11 mills is under litigation, and legal action has been recommended.

Bilal Yasin highlighted that the current government has made payments of Rs 20 billion in just a few months, clarifying that the reported figure of Rs 25 billion is incorrect, and the actual payment is Rs 12 billion.

He further stated that

He rejected the claim that sugar mills of Rahim Yar Khan have Rs 4 billion pending in payments, emphasising that false statements should not be made in the House.

PPP MPA Qazi Ahmed Saeed said sad that one month has passed, and sugar mills have still not made full payments. Ahmed Saeed said PTI member talked about sugar mills but he doesn’t talk about injustices in Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi's sugar mills and how they previously deducted 40 maunds of sugarcane.

Qazi Ahmed Saeed said that PTI member talked about People's Party, along with Zardari but he should also mention that PPP government increased the wheat rate by 150%.

Qazi Ahmed Saeed accused the PTI of having a Zardari phobia and alleged that they want to fail the government of Punjab.

Finance minister Punjab Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman said that Punjab government has decided to present the budget for the next financial year 2024-25 in the Punjab Assembly on June 12.

While talking to reporters in Punjab Assembly minister said federal government's budget is coming on June 11, but we will present ours on June 12," said Punjab Finance Minister Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman. "If the federal government changes the date and presents the budget on June 12, we will present ours on June 14." Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman added that the next financial year's budget for Punjab will be tax-free.

He also announced that the Kisan Card will be launched on August 14, and a package of Rs 400 billion will be given to farmers. Furthermore, Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman stated that negotiations are underway with foreign companies for public transportation.

Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman initiated the discussion on law and order, stating that compared to last year, the current situation is better.

He said that the police is playing its role in combating terrorism, drug trafficking, electricity theft, and kite flying. The police have also shown excellent performance in operations against dacoits in Katcha area. Moreover, the police is working on cases of theft, dacoity, car and motorbike theft, money laundering, and inter-provincial smuggling.

The Chief Minister has provided modern facilities to the police, and Safe City cameras are not only monitoring Lahore but also other cities. Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman appreciated the efforts of the police in maintaining law and order.

Meanwhile, talking to reporters in Punjab Assembly parliamentary leader of Pakistan Peoples Party in Punjab Assembly Syed Ali Haider Gillani said

PPP has not yet decided to join the cabinet.

He also said that this is our clear stance that we will consult the Central Executive Committee (CEC) on this matter adding that before the budget, Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto will hold a meeting to make a decision on this issue.

Ali Haider Gillani emphasized that we do not want any ministry for ourselves, but we want political power to serve the people. He said even if we are not given ministries, we want to be empowered in our areas where we have a majority.

Ali Haider Gillani warned that we should not be made to dance to the tune of ‘any viceroy of Lahore’. The PPP leadership has to decide how many ministries to take in the federal and Punjab governments. Ali Haider Gillani clarified that the CEC had also decided not to become part of the government, and this decision still stands. We will consult the CEC again to decide whether to join the cabinet or not.

In his speech on the floor of the House Ali Haider Gillani said Southern Punjab Secretariat was not our demand. Our demand is province of South Punjab.

Special Secretaries has been appointed in Southern Punjab.

Gillani said that Lahore has not accepted Bahawalpur Division to date. We believe that we should not be treated as subjects, and instead of being dealt with a colonial mindset.

He demanded that a committee comprising members from Southern Punjab should be formed to investigate the legal framework of the Southern Punjab Secretariat.

Gillani criticised the Punjab government for transferring ten secretaries of the Southern Punjab Secretariat, which he termed as an injustice to the people of Southern Punjab.

Meanwhile, Minister Education Punjab Rana Sikandar Hayat while responding to the questions in Punjab Assembly said government is planning to fill one lac and twelve thousand seats of teachers in this summer.

He also said government is working to address the lack of facilities in schools across the province.

In response to Amjad Ali Javed's question, Education Minister Rana Sikandar Hayat said that 99% of schools have been provided with missing facilities, including toilets and walls, through the efforts of the Education Department. However, some schools still lack these facilities due to financial constraints.

While responding to the question of Amjad Ali Javed said previously, teachers in afternoon schools were being paid a salary of fifteen to eighteen thousand, which was violation of the law.

Now, Rana Sikandar said, we have formulated a policy to pay teachers a minimum salary of thirty-two thousand rupees.

Rana Sikandar Hayat further said that the afternoon education system has exposed fifteen thousand fake appointments of teachers.

Sikandar Hayat added that afternoon schools were severely affected during the Corona period, and this program remained suspended. He further stated that due to the Corona pandemic, schools also remained closed for a period, affecting sports and extracurricular activities in schools."

PML-N MPA Rahila Khadim Hussain demanded that an inquiry should be initiated for not receiving the answer regarding numbers of primary schools in PP 150 and PP 151.

The Speaker, expressed anger over the lack of response and formed a committee, headed by Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman, to investigate why the Education Department failed to provide answers to the Assembly Secretariat.

Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan has taken notice of the matter of Commissioner Rawalpindi Amir Khattak of threatening Bilal Yamin and assured that an investigative report will be presented in the House before June 7th.

Speaker Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan has directed the secretaries to cooperate in resolving the issues of the members of the assembly and assured the members of the Punjab Assembly that if any issue arises, it will be resolved.

Rana Sikandar Hayat said that whether it's the government, opposition, or a coalition party member, we will form a committee to resolve the issues.

The Minister of Education assured the House that he will not support his department's wrongdoing, and for him, the House is sacred.

Speaker said that not responding to the queries of 12 crore people is not a good thing.

Opposition Leader Ahmad Khan Bachhar presented an adjournment motion in the Punjab Assembly regarding the shortage of clean water in Lahore, which is causing difficulties. He stated that 282 filtration plants in Lahore are non-functional, and 206 plants have become useless.

He demanded that the filtration plants should be restored as soon as possible. Ahmad Khan also requested the allocation of development funds for Mianwali to resolve issues like clean water and other problems.

Pakistan People's Party's Neelam Jabbar presented adjournment motion in the House that despite receiving all payments, the owners of Eden Housing Scheme have not handed over land possession to the people, leaving the affected individuals in distress. Some have even passed away.

She demanded that the government should take responsibility and ensure that affected people should receive possession of their plots in Eden Housing Scheme.

She alleged that when the affected individuals try to take possession of their land, the administration and unknown forces stop them from doing so.

Government member Samiullah Khan lashed out at housing society fraudsters, saying that it's not just Eden Society, but there is a mafia which is making housing societies on agricultural lands.

He said that the issue is not limited to Eden Housing Society, but many societies are also failing to deliver plots despite receiving payments. He alleged that housing societies have become a mafia, and demanded that the government should tell the people that how much agricultural land has been occupied. He also demanded that government should provide details of the number of acres of land grabbed by land mafia in Punjab over the past 10 to 20 years. Samiullah Khan called for exposing the 'black sheep' of land mafia in housing societies.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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M. Zahid Iftikhar Jun 04, 2024 10:57am
The party of chaos & instability wants investment in the country! Jokes really do write themselves.
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