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Opposition requisitions Senate to discuss terms of foreign loans.

ISLAMABAD -- The opposition has requisitioned a Senate session to discuss the terms of current loans obtained or being obtained, debt or bonds raised, from foreign sources and multilateral lenders, including all facilities and contingent liabilities being incurred by this government.

The requisition signed by 45 members of the opposition parties in the Senate has been submitted to the office of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani under Articles 54 (3) and 61 of the Constitution.

'Given the questions that have arisen from multiple sources on the state of the country's public finances, and the record of irresponsible unilateralism on raising foreign debt, it is incumbent that the parliament be taken into confidence on all such matters forthwith,' the requisition reads.

Moved by former leader of the opposition in the Senate Sherry Rehman, the proposed agenda for the session also includes the matter of Pakistan's possible intervention in the conflict in the Middle East, especially the purported brokering of peace in the war in Yemen, as suggested at the highest levels by this government. The issue requires public transparency immediately and terms must be shared with parliament, according to the requisition.

Proposed agenda for session includes Pakistan's possible intervention in Middle East conflict

The requisition also seeks to discuss the question of rising gas and electricity prices in quick succession which, it says, has resulted in an unprecedented economic burden on people, especially the vulnerable sections of the population which are facing an upcoming winter with little prospective sources of fuel, heating or cooking.

'All of the above issues are of an urgent nature, of undisputed public importance and must give cause for the House of the Federation to meet in order to play its role as a diligent opposition,' it reads.

Ms Rehman has already submitted adjournment motions with the Senate secretariat to discuss all the three issues.

In a statement issued after submitting the adjournment motions, Ms Rehman also called for parliamentary oversight of deals being made for obtaining foreign loans. She said parliament had the right to know how much loans were being obtained and on what terms. She said the episode of unilateral decisions on foreign loans should be brought to a close now.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Oct 30, 2018
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