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Patang’s remarks generate heat in Senate

Patang’s remarks generate heat in Senate

Apr 23, 2013 - 18:13

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Some members of the Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon on Tuesday denounced as an insult to the parliament Interior Minister Ghulam Mujtaba Patang’s recent remarks on being repeatedly summoned by lawmakers.  

On Sunday, Patang told the National Security Council (NSC) he had been summoned 32 times by the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon and 14 times by the Meshrano Jirga during the past year. Over the last four months, the minister said, MPs had inundated him with 15,200 applications.

Enraged by the ministerial utterances, Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar said Patang had been summoned only nine times in recent months and he failed to appear on three occasions.

“I challenge President Hamid Karzai and his entire Cabinet to say if I have ever asked them for the appointment of anyone. The rest of senators hold a similar view,” the chairman said.

According to Muslimyar, Patang says he has stuffed a bag with the recommendation letters from legislators. Such a statement is an affront to the house, the chairman insisted. “He’s a bragger and an unsuccessful minister.”

Senator Baz Mohammad Zurmati said the minister had been summoned on public-interest issues -- an established parliamentary prerogative. “If Patang is a committed minister, why does he accept pressure from MPs?” he asked.

Another member from southern Zabul province, Mohammad Daud Hasas, also scorned Patang’s comments. “If the minister has granted illegal requests, he should be referred to judicial organs,” the senator suggested.

Shahnaz Ghausi, a public representative from Herat province, asked Patang to tender an apology to the parliament. “The parliament will not summon ministers if they satisfactorily discharge their duties.”

A day earlier, several Wolesi Jirga members had asked the interior minister to name the parliamentarians who had made illegal demands on him.


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