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The MNAs belonging to the opposition and the ruling party’s allies on Wednesday complained about not being included in parliamentary delegations travelling abroad.

During the National Assembly’s proceedings, Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, who chaired the session, assured them that now whenever a parliamentary delegation left abroad, their concerns would be taken into consideration.

MNA Saira Bano of the PTI’s ally, the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), said parliamentary delegations went abroad but the government remembered her party only when it came to legislation and other issues.

“The recent delegation that went [abroad] included the MQM and other parties but not our members? It seems that now a domicile of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa [K-P] would have to be made and something else would have to be written with the name,” she added.

MMA Shahida Akhtar Ali said that no member of her alliance had ever been a part of the delegations going abroad.

The deputy speaker told her that next time her queries would be answered in the Question Hour.

“Your questions will be included in the agenda without any discrimination. Now, wherever the parliamentary delegation goes abroad, it will take into account the concerns of the members,” he added.

Suri also said he would take up the matter with the NA speaker.

During Question Hour, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said efforts were being made to plant a large number of trees. “In this monsoon alone, 3.5 million trees will be planted in Islamabad,” he added.

“We identify the areas where deforestation can be stopped by providing gas.”

PPP’s Agha Rafiullah pointed out that though Chinese vaccines were approved by the WHO, one could not travel abroad inoculated with them.

“New vaccines are not given and those who seek to travel abroad are very concerned about this issue,” he added.

Replying to a query, the minister of state for parliamentary affairs said 27.5 million metric tons of wheat was produced.

“The prime minister gave a package of Rs50 billion to rescue the farmers from difficult situations,” he added.

Under the PM’s five-year agricultural programme, loans are being provided to farmers on easy terms.

In a written reply to a question, it was stated that maternal and child health in the country had fallen far below the scale of the WHO.

In September 2019, the country’s largest nutrition survey was conducted, according to which 40.2% of children suffered from malnutrition and 17.7% had stunted growth -- both figures exceeded the WHO’s emergency level.

The lawmakers were informed that 16,000 tons of waste is generated in the country every year due to cigarette filters. As filters are an integral part of cigarettes and cannot be removed, efforts are under way to reduce their size.

The proceedings of the House were adjourned till Thursday (today) when JUI-F’s Mufti Abdul Shakoor, who was not allowed to speak during the session, pointed out the lack of quorum.

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