ISLAMABAD: A day after the government shelved a scheduled joint sitting of parliament due to concerns reportedly shown by its allies over proposed legislation on the use of electronic voting machine in next polls, Prime Minister Imran Khan met several legislators from the ruling PTI and allied parties on Thursday and discussed with them how to get the “crucial” bills passed.
He also met Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Deputy Chairman Mirza Mohammad Afridi and Leader of the House in Shehzad Waseem.
Others who called on the prime ministers were: Senators Azam Swati, Shibli Faraz, Dr Sania Nishtar, Faisal Saleem Rehman, Mohammad Humayun Mohmand, Mohsin Aziz, Faisal Javed, Fida Mohammad, Dost Mohammad Mehsud, Mohammad Ayub, Seemi Azedi, Waleed Iqbal, Zeeshan Khanzada, Dr Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur, Falak Naz Chitrali, Fauzia Arshad, Mohammad Abdul Qadir, Liaquat Khan Tarakai, Dr Mehr Taj Roghani, Aun Abbas Bappi, Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Gurdeep Singh, Faisal Vawda, Saifullah Abro, Saifullah Sarwar Khan Niazi, Syed Ali Zafar, Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti, Anwarul Haq Kakar, Samina Mumtaz, Manzoor Kakar, Danesh Kumar, Khalida Ateeb, Kamil Ali Agha and Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah.
“They discussed the ongoing legislative process in the Parliament, political situation in the country and the ongoing development projects in different constituencies,” said an official press release issued by the PM Office.
The MNAs who met the PM were: Syed Faizul Hassan, Imtiaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Chaudhry Shaukat Ali Bhatti, Talib Nakai, Rana Mohammad Qasim Noon, Zulfikar Ali Khan, Chaudhry Amir Sultan Cheema, Mehr Ghulam Mohammad Lali, Nawab Sher Waseer, Sadaqat Ali Abbasi, Rai Mohammad Murtaza, Amjad Ali Khan, Abdul Ghaffar Wattoo, Gul Dad Khan, Gul Zafar Khan, Sajid Khan, Mohammad Iqbal Afridi, Jawwad Hussain, Malik Fakhar Zaman, Faheem Khan, retired Capt Jameel Ahmed Khan, Saifur Rehman, Mohammad Alamgir Khan, Attaullah, Aftab Jehangir, Mohammad Aslam Khan and Mohammad Amir Dogar.
Federal ministers Nurul Haq Qadri, Asad Umar and Syed Ali Haider Zaidi also called on the prime minister.
Media reports said the PTI allies on Wednesday asked the prime minister to give them a chance to talk to the opposition to convince it to support electoral reforms legislation. The opposition has been opposing the proposed legislation. On Tuesday the government faced defeat at the hands of the opposition in the National Assembly during voting on motions seeking introduction of two bills.
Meeting with farmers
Later, the PM met a delegation of farmers from south Punjab and directed the provincial irrigation department to take steps to stop water theft from canals.
Underlining the importance of resolving problems faced by the farmers, he emphasised reduction in middleman’s role to enable the farmers to get good price of their products.
The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to invoke relevant laws to deal with cartelisation and to prevent hoarding practices.
The prime minister was told that it was likely that Rabi crop would be affected due to 28 per cent shortage of water in reservoirs. The prime minister said the shortage could be met by stopping water theft from the canals.
The prime minister was apprised that Pakistan was blessed with a rich natural resource base for agriculture. However, despite having one of the world’s best alluvial soils, diversified weather conditions, the best irrigation system and assiduous farmers, the country could not fully harness the potential of its agriculture sector mainly because of misplaced priorities of the previous governments.
To explore full potential of the agriculture sector, Mr Khan said, the government had launched the Agriculture Emergency Programme worth Rs277 billion, an unprecedented allocation for the sector.
The initiative is aimed at enhancing production of wheat, rice, sugarcane, pulses, and oilseed crops, besides developing livestock and water sectors.
The prime minister said the government was providing Kissan Cards to farmers, especially small ones, for modernising the agriculture sector. Through this card, the farmers would get benefits of various government programmes, such as crop loans and subsidies on fertilisers, seeds and pesticides.
Due to the government’s favourable policies, the production of wheat, rice, maize, sugarcane, potato, onion and groundnut has increased to a record level despite Covid-19 pandemic.
The meeting was also attended by Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Industries Minister Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and Energy Minister Mohammad Hammad Azhar.
Earlier in a tweet, the prime minister assured Afghanistan of Pakistan’s all-out humanitarian assistance and urging the international community to fulfil its collective responsibility to avert a grave humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.