NA: (Pakistan to continue to play positive role as key OIC member: NA told)

ISLAMABAD: Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz informed the National Assembly on Tuesday that Pakistan will continue to play its positive role as an important member of OIC.

In a policy statement in the National Assembly, he said being friend of Saudi Arabia and Iran, Pakistan will try to bridge the divide and improve relationship between the two countries.

He said after the visit of Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister to Pakistan on Thursday, he will be able to give a more detailed statement on the issue of tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and other related issues.

On a point of order, Opposition leader Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah said Pakistan should play an active role to resolve the present tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Shireen Mazari said the issue is very sensitive and the government should have an even handed approach towards it.

Sartaj Aziz hoped that Saudi Arabia and Iran would be able to restore relations through dialogue sooner or later. He said it is the responsibility of both the states to provide safety to the diplomatic missions.

He said for the last two and a half years, the foreign policy is very active and it has achieved a number of successes in terms of improving relations with different countries.

He said tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran is very sensitive issue and the government is playing a positive and balanced role in this regard. He assured the House that the opinion of members of the House will also be taken in this regard.

Sahibzada Tariqullah, Syed Asif Hasnain, Shah G Gul Afridi and Shaikh Rashid Ahmad also spoke on the issue and demanded of the government to take the House into confidence on the issue.

They suggested that the government should immediately send delegations to Saudi Arabia and Iran to resolve the issue between them.

Meanwhile, responding to a calling attention notice, the Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said that efforts are being made to ensure that no programme, news or advertisement against our social norms runs on TV channels.

The Minister said PEMRA issues notices, warnings and imposes fine on any indecent programme or advertisement within the parameters of its laws.

He said PEMRA imposed one million rupees each fine on two TV channels in this regard but they got stay order from the court. He said now it is upto the court to decide the matter. Three private members’ bills were also introduced in the House on Tuesday.

These were “The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016” moved by Dr. Nikhat Shakeel Khan, “The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2016” by Asiya Nasir and “The National Conflict of Interest Bill, 2016” moved by Murad Saeed. The chair referred the bills to the Standing Committees concerned for deliberations.

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