More the better MPA wants end to birth control to spur ‘jihad’
Dawn – June 29, 2010
By Zulfiqar Ali
PESHAWAR, June 28: Liberal and the religiousminded members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday debated the issue of population growth with great seriousness but for different reasons.
While PML-N’s Javed Abbasi wanted the population growth to be curbed and proposed that the government levy a tax of Rs5,000 on the MPAs and senior officers who have more than three children, the MMA legislators wanted everyone to produce more children for swelling the ranks of ‘Mujahideen’.
“The more children are born, the more Mujahid (jihadists) would be there,” said Mufti Kifayatullah of MMA. Speaker Karamatullah Khan Chagharmati presided over the proceedings.
PML-N member Javed Abbasi while speaking on his cut motion regarding a demand for grant for the department of population welfare said that rapid population was the root cause of the prevailing social and economic problems being faced by the country. He said that government should learn lesson from India, China and Bangladesh, and take bold decisions to control birth rate in the province. Mr Abbasi proposed that government should levy Rs5,000 tax on those MPAs and senior officers, who had more than three children.
Similarly, he suggested that those lawmakers and govern ment functionaries, who had less than three children, should be given relief package to encourage birth control. Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour asked the MPA to bring a bill in the house and government would support it. He said that there should be legislation for the population control.
These comments offended the MMA legislators, who warned their colleagues not to discuss sensitive issues at this forum. MMA parliamentary leader Akram Khan Durrani signalled his party man Mufti Kifayatullah to speak against the issue.
Mufti in his loud tone snubbed the minister and PML-N member, saying legislators should be serious about religious issues.
“Pharaoh killed children. Chinese government has the same policy to control population growth. Being Muslims we have faith that Almighty Allah has responsibility for sustenance of all creatures,” he observed. He added that every Muslim had faith that nobody could stop birth of a being, but also said that Islam did not oppose future planning.
The MMA members insisted that they would not withdraw their cut motion and Speaker Chagharmati put it for vote which was defeated with big majority. Munawar Khan of PML-N from Lakki Marwat also supported the religious alliance’s members in the voting.
Earlier, environment and industry departments came under fire in the house for its poor performances. Lawmakers from treasury and opposition benches expressed concern over increasing pollution in the River Swat, rapid deforestation in upper parts of the province and alleged irregularities in lease of mines.
Noor Saher of PPP talking on her cut motion said that industrial and domestic effluents and wastes were polluting the River Swat. She said that industrial units were discharging toxic pollutants in the river which posed serious threat for the aquatic life particularly trout fish.
Javed Abbasi said that environment should pay attention to trout fish in the River Swat and Kunhar. He said that pollutants in those two rivers were killing fish. He urged government to start projects for the promotion of trout in the region. He also proposed that government should table mining policy in the assembly.
Shazia Tehmash complained about alleged irregularities in appointments in various projects being managed by the environment department. Maulvi Obaidullah said that timbers were being smuggled through the River Indus and smugglers collected it from Tarbela Lake.
Environment Minister Wajid Ali Khan informed the house that federal government had approved project for the River Swat and an amount of Rs900 million would be spent on it.
He said that on the request of department of tourism trout fishing had been banned for two years. The proceeding was adjourned till 3pm Tuesday.