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NA passed The Finance Supplementary Bill

07 March, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Wednesday passed ‘The Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019’ with a majority vote. The finance bill envisages revolutionary incentives and measures to encourage investment, exports, ease of doing business and strengthen important sectors of the national economy.

Winding up debate on ‘The Finance Supplementary (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019’, Finance Minister Asad Umar expressed the resolve that the government will take every decision in the best interest of the people of Pakistan to ensure peace and development. He said the government will accept the conditions for an IMF loan package only if those are in line with the interest of the people of Pakistan.

The minister said the foreign direct investment in recent months remained 13.3% higher than that in the previous government’s tenure. He said $48 million foreign portfolio investment came to Pakistan only during the last two months. He said the confidence of foreign investors has gone up due to the prudent economic policies of the siting government which will help revamp economic outlook of the country.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari termed the Pulwama attack a reaction of the local youth against Indian atrocities and held Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for it. He said Modi’s government has broken all the previous records of barbarism and human rights violation in the occupied valley, and called for implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions that provide for the exercise of right to self-determination by the Kashmiri people to restore lasting peace in South Asia.

Paying rich tribute to the pilots who shot down two Indian jets, the PPP leader said that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has once again proved itself to be the best air force in the world. He also paid tribute to the soldiers martyred due to India firing at the Line of Control (LoC). Bilawal said on this occasion, they should not forget the services of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto who equipped Pakistan with atom bomb and missile technology and made the country’s defense impregnable.

“The policy to bring banned organizations in national sphere is entirely wrong. It is neither the policy of the parliament nor it can be of the country. How is it possible that an elected PM is hanged but can’t file case against terrorist organizations?” he remarked. “There is accountability only for the opposition but none for the banned groups. There could be a JIT on my breakfast but there can’t be a JIT on banned organizations,” he said.

“Such decisions were also announced in the past after APS attack as National Action Plan was unanimously approved by the parliament,” he said. However, he regretted the National Action Plan was never implemented in the country in true letter and spirit.

Responding to Bilawal Bhutto’s speech, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi invited the PPP chairman, Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif and other parliamentary leaders to offer their input on Pakistan’s foreign policy.

“I would like to thank PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif for showing solidarity with the people Pakistan in this state of alertness,” he said. “Bilawal offered that in these testing times, he is willing to take a bipartisan approach on foreign policy. I take this offer and I invite Bilawal and Shehbaz Sharif and the leader of MMA to the Foreign Office. We are willing to seek their input on foreign policy, because this is a time when the nation stands together to send a message to the East that Pakistan is united to defend itself,” he added.

Qureshi also officially identified Squadron Leader Hassan Siddiqui and Wing Commander Nauman Ali Khan as the Pakistan Air Force pilots who shot down two Indian fighter jets in a rare dogfight last month.

He said the recent steps taken by the government of Pakistan were in the interest of the country. “We gave a befitting response to India when it was required,” he added.

He vowed the government will implement the National Action Plan in letter and spirit. “But questions remain as to what caused obstacles in implementation of the NAP. Who was ruling the country when Pakistan was put on FATF grey list? What were the Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz doing when Pakistan was being pressurized by the international community?” he questioned.

PML-N leader and former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal said that Indian prime minister himself came to meet Nawaz Sharif in the past but now does not even bother to receive call of Imran Khan. He expressed serious concerns over the policies of the government, terming them a threat to the country.

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