Aitzaz Ahsan's Heated Clash with Khwaja Asif Over Nandipur Corruption
ISLAMABAD: The Senate witnessed a verbal clash between members of the ruling PML-N and opposition PPP for the second consecutive day on Wednesday during a debate on an adjournment motion on the issue of alleged corruption in the Nandipur power project.
The clash between Leader of the Opposition Senator Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif started when the former repeated his charges that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had paid only Rs477 as income tax in three years during the 1990s while today he was a billionaire.
Winding up the debate, Khawaja Asif made some personal attacks on Mr Ahsan and alleged that his wife, along with two retired army generals who headed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), had acquired licence for import of LPG.
When Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani asked the minister to avoid personal attacks, Mr Asif refused to do so and said the opposition leader had named his party leader Nawaz Sharif. He said he could also talk about PPP Co-chairman Asif Zardari, but would not do so.
“If I tell him (Mr Ahsan) about the views of his party leadership about him, he will find no place to hide,” the minister said after responding to technical points raised by senators during the debate.
In his reply, Mr Ahsan denied the allegation that he had acquired the LPG quota for his wife from any government and said the government had no control over the quota since 2000 as it was purely a private affair.
The house had witnessed a similar situation on Tuesday when PML-N’s Mushahidullah Khan had made personal attacks on Mr Ahsan over the same issue.
The water and power minister reiterated that he had no objection to investigations into the Nandipur power project by any agency, including NAB, or by the house committee on water and power.
He accused the opposition members of presenting distorted figures and picture of the whole issue and said the PML-N government had inherited the PC-1 of the project that had been prepared by the previous PPP government without carrying out its feasibility.
Mr Asif said the government had decided to continue the project because 65 per cent work on it had already been completed when the PML-N came to power.
US-INDIA TIES: Responding to a calling-attention notice of PPP’s Seher Kamran on the issue of setting up of an India-specific cell at Pentagon, the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, said Pakistan must not worry over the increasing India-US defence ties.
He said the government was cautious about meeting modern day challenges and it had sufficient resources to meet the country’s defence needs.
Mr Aziz said the agreement for setting up a special cell in Pentagon for defence ties with India had been signed a couple of years ago while Pakistan-US defence relations were six decades old.
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