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Friday April 19, 2024

NA again rejects motion for Punjab, KP polls funds

JUIF leader backs Bilawal’s demand that three judges be asked to appear before privilege committee

By Muhammad Anis
April 28, 2023
The inside view of the National Assembly. Geo News/File
The inside view of the National Assembly. Geo News/File

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly (NA) on Thursday once again turned down a motion moved by the federal government for the release of Rs21 billion as a supplementary grant to conduct elections of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies in light of directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar while referring to SC directives of April 19 and the decision of the federal cabinet, sought permission from parliamentarians to move a bill or otherwise seek release of supplementary grant for elections but the House rejected the same with majority voice.

The law minister said the federal cabinet observed that as the House had already rejected a bill and then also denied release of supplementary grant, therefore, it was Parliament to give any permission or review it in light of SC directives.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and top leaders of coalition parties were present when the motion was put for consent of the House.

Earlier, speaking on the issue, JUIF parliamentary leader Asad Mahmood supported demand of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari that three judges should be asked to appear before privilege committee of the House questioning as to how judiciary could stop Parliament from legislation.

He said they were safeguarding the Constitution and Parliament which were meant to establish writ of the state.

The JUIF leader said that the National Assembly would complete its tenure and there would be no compromise on it adding that nobody could send prime minister home. “The prime minister will continue to enjoy command of majority of the House,” he said.

He said the JUIF in principle agrees that dialogue is part of democratic process but were against talks under any pressure. “We are keeping an eye on working of the Senate committee.

He maintained that elections in the National Assembly and four provinces should be held on the same day.

He said the apex court instead of forming a full bench issued one-sided verdict. “Nobody is standing with Imran Khan except from these three judges of the Supreme Court,” he said.

Asad Mahmood maintained that his party was standing with all the resolutions and legislation including the bill to correct suo motu law.

Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif maintained that no decision of three-member bench was acceptable to them. “It was not job of the Supreme Court to force us for negotiations,” he said and added that they respect SC decisions but if decisions are generated to facilitate someone those were not acceptable.

He said the House had reiterated time and again that the decisions of three judges were not acceptable to them adding that an individual was being facilitated.

He said the prime minister in humbleness stated he was ready to go home for thousand times for dignity of the House. “I want to make correction of prime minister that he should not go home as no decision of three judges is acceptable to them,” he said.

Sardar Akhtar Mengal, speaking on the occasion, said it was yet to be decided since inception of Pakistan as to which institution was powerful and supreme.

During his speech, he also talked about martial laws and 1962 executive order regarding a Constitution saying that ultimately the country broke into two parts.

He said promises made with the provinces were never fulfilled and it was after 40 years that a concurrent list was given to provinces with passage of the Constitution.

Sardar Akhtar Mengal said as to why generals were not asked to appear before privilege committee for playing havoc with the Constitution. “Could anybody ask from those who purchased properties in Australia with dollars which were given for elimination of terrorism in the country?” he said adding that retired generals were also included in political parties.

He said that the PCO judges were also accorded respect which they did not deserve saying as to why suo motu notice was not taken on missing persons.

He said that institutions have constitutional not blood relations which remain intact only when no unconstitutional steps is taken. “You take suo motu notices in the midnight but if you ever heard cries of mothers for their missing sons,” he said.

The PMLN member Mian Javed Latif said that the country could not make progress unless characters who have been playing circus with democracy, are taken to task. “Not only democracy but the state is also facing threats,” he said.

He said it was pleasing to note that Pakistan Army announced that they are apolitical but whether other institutions are doing so. “There are still facilitators of Imran Khan who had been imposed on the country for four years,” he said.

He said that time and again attempts were made to create divisions within the PMLN saying that it could be desire of some people sitting in the white building to keep party’s top leadership away from general elections but it would not be fulfilled.

He also questioned whether any suo motu notice when programmes of anchorpersons like Hamid Mir were stopped.

Mian Javed Latif said there should be no talks with Imran Khan who used to abuse Parliament. “First, he will have to tender apology to Parliament and the people,” he said.

Saleh Muhammad of PTI said that the previous regime was running country’s affairs and the economy in a better way.

He did not agree with notion of Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar that elections were delayed when Benazir Bhutto was martyred. “Did you want to delay elections for the sake of Rs21 billion. Today all politicians are alive,” he said.

He said that 70 percent industries have been closed down in the country in the last one year while exports have also gone down due wrong policies of the present regime. He said the policy rate had also been increased considerably which shows slowing down business activity in the country.

He asked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to tender apology to ex-president Asif Ali Zardari for threatening him in his public speeches in the past instead of advising Imran Khan to apologise to Parliament and the nation.

The Speaker referred issue of increase in meter rent by the Sui Northern Pipelines without government’s permission from Rs40 to over Rs500 per month. The JUIF member Shahida Akhtar Ali raised the issue on a calling attention notice.