Senators belonging to the opposition parties on Wednesday protested over the government’s decision to bypass the parliament while making the National Security Policy (NSP).

People’s Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman said the government did not present the draft of the security policy in the house. The PPP leader said the policy that has been approved is nothing but a piece of paper that is contrary to the ground realities.

She criticised the government over a bill that provides complete autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in line with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) demands.

Sherry asked what sort of security the government is talking about when the IMF is dictating the economy and the SBP is being sublet.

The PPP senator’s speech was heckled by a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senator, Mohsin Aziz, who advised her to get straight to the point instead of making a speech. Senator Sherry Rehman took offence to the remarks and staged a walkout in protest.

As the opposition senators were leaving the upper house, Leader of House Shehzad Wasim said that the Opposition should listen to the government lawmakers as well if they have courage. At this, the opposition lawmakers stopped the walkout and gathered in front of the Senate chairman’s dais to protest.

Senator Wasim said that this was the first time a national policy on security was devised. The PTI senator said the draft of the NSP was tabled in a session of the National Security Committee (NSC) but the Opposition did not attend the session.

Taking a jibe at the opposition leaders, he said the NSC session was not attended by the military officials so the opposition decided to boycott it. “Had there been uniformed officers there, the opposition leaders would have been first to come,” he quipped.

His remarks prompted a protest by the opposition senators, who raised slogans against the government in front of Sanjrani’s desk. After repeated requests by Chairman Sanjrani, the opposition and government lawmakers went back to their seats.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Moeed Yusuf announced on Tuesday that the federal cabinet approved Pakistan’s first-ever National Security Policy (NSP).

“It is a truly historic achievement; a citizen-centric comprehensive Nat[tional] Sec[urity] policy with economic security at the core will now be pursued in earnest,” the NSA said in a tweet.

A day earlier, it was reported that the NSC approved the NSP 2022-2026, which aims at bolstering the country’s economic security and tackling external as well as internal challenges.

NADRA: The opposition senators also demanded the details of the recruitment of armed force personnel in the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA).

Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Senator Mushtaq Ahmed said: “I had questioned how many people are on deputation in NADRA and how many retired military personnel are working there.”

The senator said he was not given a satisfactory response about his query which had asked about the number of retired military officials reemployed by the authority.

He said as per his information a large number of retired armed forces personnel were reemployed in NADRA despite a rise in unemployment across Pakistan, especially among the fresh graduates.

He said giving highly sought-after jobs to the retired military officials was an injustice to Pakistan’s youth, adding that he should be informed about the number and designations of retired armed forces personnel employed in NADRA.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, while responding to the JI senator, said six serving personnel of the armed forces were employed on deputation. He told the JI senator to submit a fresh question with the details he mentioned.

PML-N Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar added to the same question raised by the JI senator. He sought details of the number of retired military officers employed in NADRA, their appointment date, and their qualifications, and responsibilities at the authority.

Tarar said he read in a newspaper that about two dozen retired army officers to appointed as directors and deputy directors in a single day at least two months ago.

Minister Ali Muhammad Khan said he would respond to this question in detail, saying these people were “employed in accordance with the job specification”.

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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