Byline: Amir Wasim
ISLAMABAD -- The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) faced embarrassment in the National Assembly on Tuesday when a number of its lawmakers complained about insufficient allocations for agriculture and various projects in the federal budget, shortage of petrol and 'absence' of ministers from the house.
They also blasted the Punjab government on various issues.
Taking part in the general debate on the federal budget for the seventh day, PTI lawmakers Sardar Riaz Mehmood Mazari from Rajanpur and Junaid Akbar from Malakand lashed out at the Punjab government over what they called its failure to maintain law and order in the southern part of the province and its decision to ban inter-provincial movement of wheat.
Mr Mazari slammed the federal government for not allocating funds for the proposed South Punjab province in the budget.
'We were hopeful of bringing about a change, but disappointment is rife. Neither are people getting jobs nor is any development taking place,' Mr Mazari said.
The PTI legislator recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised to work for betterment of backward areas, 'but it has not happened'.
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Highlighting the 'poor law and order situation' in Rajanpur, Mr Mazari said he had raised the issue even with the prime minister, but 'I am unable to understand as to why there has been no action'.
He claimed that a group of 20 to 25 people had made the lives of people in the Seraiki belt miserable through their illegal activities, which include extortions of farmers.
About two weeks ago, he recalled, criminals had kidnapped some policemen and released them only after police released their accomplices. 'Police are reluctant to take action as they are not getting any support from the government.'
He said five IGs (inspectors general) had already been changed in the province, but things had not improved.
Mr Mazari said it seemed that Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar was 'powerless' as 'he is a gentleman and no one listens to him'. He said one of a senior local member of the PTI had recently quit the party due to the prevailing law and order situation in the area as the police failed to even recover his 60 stolen buffaloes.
'We are crying over (India-Occupied) Kashmir whereas the situation in the area is worse than Kashmir. The honour of the people is not safe,' he said, demanding that an operation be launched against the criminals.