ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Wednesday exchange words on the water issue during the National Assembly session. Responding to a notice moved by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) calling attention to water shortage in Sindh, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader held former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s government responsible for water theft in the province. Taking the floor, the minister said he wanted to inform the House that the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government ‘stole’ Sindh’s share of the water.”PML-N government led by Nawaz Sharif stole water of Sindh. Nawaz robbed the province of its due rights,” he alleged. Delving into details regarding how the PML-N stole water, Vawda said, “Verbal orders were issued to shutdown water telemeters and the supply of water to the province was being measured manually.”The minister said 58 per cent less water was being supplied to Sindh, adding that he will meet Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to resolve the issue. “I will walk shoulder to shoulder with the Sindh government on the water issue,” he added. “The federal minister’s allegations that Sindh and Balochistan’s water was stolen for Punjab are serious. A parliamentary committee should be formed to probe into the allegations,”PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said. To this, Vawda said, “I did not mention the name of Punjab … and there is no need for a parliamentary committee. I will present a report on this in the House myself.””They [PML-N govt] stole massively from every department,” he further asserted. “If you level allegations, then start the investigations from me,” Abbasi said. “If you call us thieves, then I will call you and your father a thief,” he added. “If Abbasi calls me and my father a thief, then it shows his upbringing,” Vawda replied. The debate heated up as PTI’s Murad Saeed took to the floor and said, “Everyone knows who has been declared a certified thief.””The previous government instead of focusing on country’s economic problems worked to expand their personal businesses,” he added.”Stop us if you can but those who destroyed institutions will be held accountable,” he asserted. The PLM-N members raised a ruckus in objection to the comments made by Saeed, saying they should also be given an opportunity to speak and began chanting slogans in favour of their party while Vawda was speaking. The minister for water resources called the attention of the NA speaker to the behaviour of the parliamentarians, saying the session could not continue this way.Saeed taunted the opposition, saying all PML-N leaders and their family members were either arrested or absconding.In the Panamagate case, he said, every member of the Sharif family had shifted blame onto each other, and in the end, the blame was shifted to the late Sharif. He claimed that it was not the PTI but the PML-N government that was responsible for the economic crisis Pakistan was going through, adding that the National Assembly session was broadcast on television and wondered what people would think. The session was later postponed till Thursday evening. Published in Daily Times, November 8th 2018.