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Pakistan Muslim League’s Khwaja Asif faced strong criticism by masses, law makers and politicians when he referred to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Shireen Mazari as a ‘tractor trolley’ and called her voice ‘masculine’ as she interrupted his briefing on the load shedding situation during National Assembly Session. Women lawmakers also staged walkout from the House in protest. After much uproar by assembly members, Kh Asif later appeared in the House and tendered an apology letter to Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. Shireen Mazari, however, refused to accept the apology, saying that the PML-N minister’s remarks were personal and he should apologise himself directly to her. Minister, however, refused to mention Mazari’s name, stating that he didn’t name anyone during the outburst.
Meanwhile Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) called a strike in Karachi to protest what the party believed a Rangers’ siege at Farooq Sattar’s house. Rabita Committee had requested the business community and transporters to keep their business close in a bid to show solidarity with the party. However, Rangers asked the citizens to ignore MQM’s call for a strike and vowed to take action against those who would chose to shut down.
Meanwhile Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is now facing trouble in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as five members of the National Assembly belonging to PTI rebelled against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak, stating that the chief minister is a hurdle in the way of change and that they would continue their struggle till removal of the chief minister.
The parliamentary committee preparing the terms of reference (ToRs) for the judicial commission, which will investigate the Panama leaks, held a meeting this week where the opposition parties presented their consensus to government’s representatives. The government has sought a week’s time for consultations on the ToRs proposed by the opposition. Meanwhile Chairman of PPP and former president Asif Zardari said that PPP will give tough time to the government and will not make any compromise over the issue of investigation into Panama leaks. He said that PPP should consider the transparent investigation into Panama leaks a test case and that every decision should be made in consultation with the opposition parties.
According to media reports, during the discussion, the government members pointed out that there was a substantial difference between the ToRs circulated by the government earlier and the ToRs circulated by the opposition. Meanwhile the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in collaboration with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has now started working on a new legislation involving offshore companies. According to media reports, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had directed all three stakeholders to prepare a framework for offshore companies.
After a drone strike in Balochistan that killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour, Pakistan reacted strongly and condemned the attack terming it an attack on Pakistan’s sovereignty. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs while talking to media said that Pakistan will raise issue of drone strikes with the United Sates in a bilateral meeting scheduled this week. He also said that the United States had in the past adopted a transitional policy towards Pakistan, and left Pakistan to fend for itself as soon as it achieved what it wanted from it. He also expressed concerns over growing ties between the US and India adding that India obtaining greater, more powerful weapons was affecting the balance of power in South Asia as both Pakistan and India possessed nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile as part of the ongoing diplomatic efforts, the envoys from NSG countries were urged to adopt objective and non-discriminatory criteria for the membership of non-NPT states. Additional Foreign Secretary (United Nations and Economic Coordination) Ambassador Tasnim Aslam in her briefing cautioned against any country’s specific exemptions, which she said would negatively impact strategic stability in South Asia. Pakistan’s application is likely to lead to a showdown in the group which has also been facing calls to induct India as a member.
US President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that his country is backing India’s bid to join the club. China could also insist, as a condition of India’s membership, that Pakistan also be allowed to join
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