ISLAMABAD, Apr 22 (INP): The National Assembly was informed today that the government is negotiating a prisoner exchange agreement with China which would allow the convicts to serve their sentences in Pakistan.
Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch told the House during question hour that a total of 260 Pakistanis are currently imprisoned in China. These include 193 who have been sentenced after conviction and 67 who are in detention centres, awaiting trial. He said majority of the Pakistanis under arrest in China are charged with drug trafficking and other serious crimes. He said Pakistan Embassy in China seeks consular access from the Chinese authorities and oversees that the legal rights of the accused are granted.
Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada informed the House that steps are being taken to improve the game of cricket and other games. He said the Pakistan Cricket Board has put in place a new selection committee and also a new ODI Captain. He pointed out that performance of cricket has been affected due to lack of infrastructure facilities and absence of international cricket in Pakistan. He said currently the Pakistan Cricket team is ranked number three in T-20 cricket, number four in the test cricket and number seven in one-day cricket.
Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah was of the view that a professional person should be appointed as Chairman of PCB to improve the game of cricket.
The Speaker while taking notice of absence of some Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and senior officers of bureaucracy during question hour, called secretaries of Ministries of Commerce, Textile and Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan to his chamber.
The chair also suspended the proceedings of the House for ten minutes and called Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmad and Shah Mahmood Qureshi to his chamber for consultation on the matter.
After consultation, Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that last opportunity has been given to the concerned quarters to take the question hour seriously and submit answers in time. He said government officials not less than a Joint Secretary will take note of the proceedings. He said it was decided that answers of the questions will be ensured.
Replying to a call attention notice moved by Dr Shezra Mansab Ali Khan Kharal and others regarding delay in construction of bridge over the River Ravi at Syed Wala, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmad said the delay was caused due to lack of funds. He said National Highway Authority has moved a summary for provision of funding for the project because the Prime Minister has directed to complete this project.