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Lack of quorum: KP Assembly fails to manage business on last day of tenure

May 29, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday could not manage business on the last day of its five-year tenure for lack of quorum.

Besides Speaker Asad Qaiser, almost all provincial ministers stayed away from the assembly on its last day where Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Mehmood Jan, panel of chairmen, chaired the session.

After recitation from the Holy Quran, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MPA Ziaullah Afridi pointed to the lack of quorum. The chair had no option but to ring the bell for counting the members. The newly elected MPA on minority seat, Baldev Kumar, wanted to move a resolution on Sikh Marriage Act but his move was not materialised due to lack of quorum.

He took oath on Sunday and served as MPA for two days, who had been elected on minority reserved seat after the murder of Sardar Soran Singh in April 2016. Similarly, Qaumi Watan Party MPA and former provincial minister Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli wanted to present a report of the standing committee on the floor but she was not allowed and the Chair read out the order of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor to prorogue the assembly session.

Meanwhile, according to a notification issued by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Law Department, the five-year tenure of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly will end at 12 midnight on May 28.

In a notification signed by Law Secretary Asghar Ali, the assembly is to dissolve at midnight under Article 107 of the Constitution. Hours before the historic session of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly to pass the Fata Reforms Bill, the speaker of the assembly, Asad Qaiser voiced concern over the issue of tax exemption enjoyed by the people of Malakand division and added that the bill would roll back tax immunity previously granted to the people of the area.

Asad Qaiser wrote a letter to National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq informing him about the objections raised by lawmakers belonging to the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata) over the omission of tax exemption enjoyed by the people of Pata before the 31st Constitutional Amendment Act 2018.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had emerged the largest political party after 2013 general election. It later formed a coalition government. After election of Deputy Speaker Dr Mehr Taj Roghani to Senate in March this year, the post fell vacant and till the dissolution of the present assembly, no elections were held for the deputy speaker’s office.

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