Debating the terms and regulations for the extension and tension-free tenure for the upcoming army chief, the opposition has rejected perks and privileges for the top army slot which includes a six-figure monthly salary, red book protocol, and five-kilogram tomatoes a month till retirement.
“Five kg tomatoes?” shouted Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on the floor of the House amid chants of “No tamatar, no tamatar” by the whole opposition. Some treasury members also joined the chorus “No tamatar, no tamatar”.
“We can accept an army chief with a life term but please exclude the five-kilo tomato package from their pay scale,” said a PML-N leader. “Pakistan is a third world country which cannot afford tomato luxury.”
Finance Adviser Sheikh Hafeez, who drafted the extension bill for the army chief said he had included tomatoes in the package because the army chief deserved such a luxury package.
PML-Q leader and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said if their party was given a chance, they would increase the tomato quota for the army chief ten times and would elect them in uniform as president of Pakistan nine times.
From the treasury, Narcotics Minister Shehryar Afridi said that he was to surrender his life to Allah but tomatoes were valueless in the face of the valuable services of armed forces in curbing smuggling of tomatoes from Pakistan to Afghanistan.
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