Briefing On Pakistani Migrants Drowned Near Greece Deferred in Senate Panel Fracas

Briefing On Pakistani Migrants Drowned Near Greece Deferred in Senate Panel Fracas
A key meeting of a parliamentary oversight panel ended its meeting on Monday in a fracas after the panel's chairperson sought to defer the meeting's entire agenda, including a briefing on Pakistani migrants who drowned off the coast of Greece last month, over what he termed was the non-professional attitude of the interior ministry.

As the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior began on Monday, representatives of the Federal Interior Ministry sought deferments on all the bills put up for review in the committee meeting due to a lack of readiness.

Committee Chairperson Senator Mohsin Aziz, a senator of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), expressed his displeasure at the delayed provision of working papers and the lack of preparation by the ministry on the agenda items.

He noted that the ministry informed him just 30 minutes prior to the committee's meeting on deferring all the bills.

Aziz and the committee expressed their serious reservations about the behaviour of the ministry.

The committee observed that the ministry's response has always been the same. But of late, they said, it had deteriorated further and became non-professional.

Committee Chairman Aziz said that he had tried every possible means to redress this issue but to no avail and said that the last option left is to move a privilege motion against the ministry.

The committee then deferred the meeting until next week.

Apart from legislative and non-legislative business, agenda items deferred included a briefing by the Interior Ministry's secretary and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general over the recent incident where a boat had capsized in Greece, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of would-be migrants. The illegal migrants included many young Pakistanis who were trying to settle abroad for better sources of livelihood.

The meeting was attended by Senators Samina Mumtaz Gilani, Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Shahadat Awan, Fawzia Arshad, Kamil Ali Agha, Denesh Kumar, Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti and Mushtaq Ahmad Khan.

Officials of some relevant departments were also in attendance.

It is relevant to note that Federal Law Minister Senator Azam Nazeer Tarar is also a regular member of the committee, which has a total of 14 listed members.