Thursday April 18, 2024

PMLN’s 12 more MNAs sworn in amid protest

The speaker had to express his indignation at rowdy PTI-backed SIC members, saying they could not stay silent for a minute to condole with the friendly country

By Muhammad Anis
April 02, 2024
National Assembly during a session in Islamabad. — APP/File
National Assembly during a session in Islamabad. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly (NA) Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq administered oath to 12 more MNAs-elect of the PMLN amidst strong protest by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) members for not getting time to discuss a letter, written by six judges of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), to the Supreme Judicial Council.

Those administered the oath on Monday were: Azhar Qayyum Nehra, Abdul Rehman Kanju, Saira Afzal Tarar, Huma Akhtar Chughtai, Bushra Anjum Butt, Mahjabeen Abbasi, Shazia Fareed, Sufia Shahid Shah, Sobia Shahid, Syeda Amna Umair, Gulnar Shahzadi and Shumaila Rana.

The second session of the 16th National Assembly lasted for less than an hour. The NA speaker read prorogation orders after allowing a few points orders and the House observed one-minute silence to mourn death of five Chinese nationals and offering Fateha for officers and Jawans of security forces, who were martyred in different terrorism acts and others.

“We condemn this incident on behalf of Parliament of Pakistan and reiterate that such attempt to damage Pak-China friendship will not succeed,” the speaker said.

The speaker had to express his indignation at rowdy PTI-backed SIC members, saying they could not stay silent for a minute to condole with the friendly country. On issue of appointment of the opposition leader in the House, the speaker, while quoting Rule 39 of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, stated that written proposal for the opposition leader with names and signatures of members should reach his chamber by 6pm on Monday, and counting would be done at 11am on Tuesday, April 2.

“A decision to name the opposition leader will be taken on basis of numerical strength after verification of signatures of members,” he said adding that his chamber had already received some proposals in that regard.

As the SIC parliamentarians wanted discussion on an adjournment motion regarding the IHC judges’ letter, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar opposed it, saying that as per rules, the house could not take up a matter which was sub judice. He stated that chief justice of Pakistan had taken suo moto notice of the issue and a Supreme Court bench had also been constituted for hearing the case.

Earlier, an SIC member Omar Ayub Khan, who has been nominated by the party as the opposition leader in the NA, said his party members h ad submitted an adjournment motion to discuss the IHC judges’ letter, but time was not assigned for the purpose.

SIC Chief Whip Aamir Dogar said the judges letter showed that there was only economic but also constitutional crisis in the country.

Former speaker Asad Qaisar asked the chair to admit adjournment motion for discussion. He said the House should also pass a resolution in that regard.

PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan stressed that the issue could not be ignored and should be taken up by the House after suspending rules and order of the day.

Noor Alam Khan of the JUIF said the house should discuss inflation, price-hike and economic crisis in the country. PTI leader Sher Afzal Marwat condemned killing of five Chinese nationals and said the armed forces alone could not win war against terrorism. “It requires whole-of-nation approach like we did to eliminate polio disease,” he said.