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June 20, 2019

NA speaker issues production orders of Zardari, Saad

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June 20, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser Wednesday issued the production orders of former president Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique for the current budget session.

“Yes, speaker National Assembly has issued production orders of Asif Zardari and Saad Rafique for the budget session,” he confirmed when contacted on Wednesday night. Later, the National Assembly Secretariat also issued a notification on the production orders of Zardari and Saad Rafique.

According to the National Assembly Secretariat, the speaker issued the production orders as per Rule 108 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly Secretariat, 2007.

PPP legislators Shazia Mari, Shagufta Jamani, Agha Rafiuddin and Abdul Qadir Patel were present at the National Assembly Secretariat to collect the production order of Zardari.

Earlier in the day, members of the opposition and government coalition parties signed a letter to the speaker for the issuance of former president Asif Ali Zardari’s production order.

At the request of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), members of the government coalition parties signed the letter application. The letter application was signed by the Syed Aminul Haque of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Balochistan National Party Chairman Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Balochistan Awami Party’s Khalid Magsi and Jamhoori Watan Party’s Shahzain Bugti. Independent MNA Aslam Bhootani also signed the letter.

Members of the government coalition parties said it is not about the PPP co-chairman Zardari but it about the supremacy of democracy. On June 10, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Zardari in the fake bank accounts case from Islamabad after a bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected a plea filed by Zardari and his sister, Faryal Talpur, seeking an extension in their interim bail in the fake bank accounts case.

The letter stated that being speaker of the National Assembly, impartiality of the speaker’s office demands for the issuance of production order of every MNA disregarding party affiliation. “Therefore, custodian of the House, you are requested once again to issue the required production order forthwith,” the letter stated.

Meanwhile, the PPP lodged a protest at the Ministers Enclave over non-issuance of the production order of Zardari. The protest was participated by Senator Sherry Rehman, PPP Secretary General Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, Senator Robina Khalid, Faisal Karim Kundi along with a number of PPP workers.

According to sources, initially the PPP wanted to stage a protest outside the speaker’s house but after getting assurances for issuance of the production order by Wednesday evening, they changed their mind.

On the assurance of issuance of the production order, the PPP staged a few-minute protest at the gate of Ministers Enclave. Addressing the protest, Sherry Rehman said rules and producer of the National Assembly were clear and despite repeated requests the production orders were not being issued.

“It seems that the pressure was exerted on the speaker for not issuing the production order,” she said, adding that the speaker should issue production order as per rules and procedures of the National Assembly.

Nayyer Hussain Bokhari said the speaker should play an impartial role. Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari appreciated the MQM-Pakistan for its support in the demand for the issuance of production order of Asif Zardari.

Bilawal through a tweet stated that he must appreciate the MQM for speaking up for democratic constitutional right regardless of political differences. “On the floor of the house yesterday they demanded the production order of President Zardari. Innocent until proven guilty is a right, not a privilege,” he stated.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said it was first time in the history of Pakistan that four members have been arrested and not produced in the National Assembly.

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