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Jobless man Raja Khan's suicide echoes in Senate

27 October, 2011

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ISLAMABAD: A jobless young man from Sindh Raja Khan's suicide in front of the Parliament Lodges two days back echoed in the Senate Wednesday when Senator Nilofar Bukhtiar raised the issue and demanded that Upper House of the Parliament should also pass the resolution on common Pakistani.

Speaking in the Senate, Senator Nilofar Bukhtiar, who had already indicated to dissociate herself from PML-Q, asked that a resolution should also be passed in the upperhouse of the parliament for an old pensioner of Pakistan Railways who died while waiting for his pension.

She also drew Senate Chairman Farooq H Naek's attention towards not allotting her seat at the opposition benches as an independent member despite her request for it. However, the Senate chairman did not give any reply.

It may be noted that Senator Nilofar Bukhtiar dissociated herself from her mother party PML-Q, of which party ticket she was elected as a Senator in 2006, and sent a request to Senate Secretariat for allocating her a seat at the opposition benches as an independent member but the Senate Secretariat refused to entertain her request.

Meanwhile, a key coalition partner of Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP), on Wednesday filed an adjournment motion with the National Assembly Secretariat regarding the self-immolation of a jobless Sindhi youth near the Parliament and to know whether the government introduced any policy for youth.

Raja Khan, the father of a boy and a girl, whose widow became mother of another baby boy on the day, he was being buried, doused petrol and set himself on fire on Monday near the Parliament because of joblessness and his inability to feed his family.

The ANP will raise the tragic matter on the floor of the National Assembly as well as the Senate to draw the government's attention towards growing unemployment, poverty and frustration among the young generation. As the party filed the motion, television channels telecast clips regarding the birth of Khan's new baby, when his funeral prayer was being held in Naushero Feroze.

The nationalist party legislator Bushra Gohar, who is also its vice-president, filed an adjournment motion with the assembly secretariat here on Wednesday and a similar motion was likely to be submitted to the upper house of the parliament. "I submitted the motion in the National Assembly Secretariat regarding the self-immolation of an unemployed youth in front of the Parliament, raising serious concerns about growing unemployment in the country and its social, psychological, economic and political implications," she said while talking to our sources here after submitting the motion.

She said the tragedy was an alarming indicator that young generation that formed around 70 per cent of Pakistan's total population, today was losing hope in its future. "We are confident other parties in the parliament will also focus on this issue. We must have realistic policies for our youth, who are the future builders of Pakistan. Do we really have any policy for youth by the way?" she said.

She proposed to media to further highlight such issues that if went unheeded any longer, could trigger anarchy one day for economic disparities in the society, which were now unprecedented. "The suicide of a young man, who should have been full of life close to the corridors of power, is not a small happening: It is a wake-up call for the rulers," she cautioned.

The ANP leader castigated the allocation of Rs70 billion to the Benazir Income Support Programme, which she alleged was making poor women beggars and billed it a sheer wastage of public money. "The BISP is merely a gimmick, which obviously serves no purpose," she charged.

She wondered why so much money was being wasted under the tag of the BISP and suggested instead a policy with a sustainable roadmap to provide jobs to the literate and technical youth should be thrashed out on priority basis and strongly opposed any further continuation of the BISP.


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