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NA will be summoned for last session of parliamentary year on Aug 6

Peshawar

August 1, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s last session of the current parliamentary year will commence on Thursday next (August 06), while the joint sitting of the two houses of the Parliament will be held in the following week where the government will attempt to get passed at least five bills.

The bills which are pending/lapsed due to non-approval/rejection by the Upper House of the Parliament include Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) Bill which the opposition has announced to block with full force. It was passed by the National Assembly in January this year and is yet to find approval of the Upper House. Since the bill cannot be placed before the Senate, its fate has to be determined by the joint sitting of the Parliament.

The Parliament House will witness eventful sitting of the houses in the wake of government’s efforts to make stringent laws for screwing the opponents. Well-placed parliamentary sources told The News here Thursday that the government had earlier planned to summon the joint sitting on Thursday, but it got the inkling that it would be difficult to assure majority support if the sitting is held.

It forced the government to change its mind and summon the National Assembly after midnight on Wednesday when the sitting had been already adjourned sine die about seven hours before that. The sources said that the president was approached about midnight to take his orders for summoning the National Assembly.

The session of the National Assembly would have been unconstitutional if it was summoned without formal orders issued and inked by the president. The sources reminded that the joint sitting of the Parliament would be conspicuously significant as the government is of the view that it could manage majority support for legislation of its choice. On the contrary, the opposition is confident that its numerical strength in the two houses collectively outnumbers the government. The opposition is establishing contacts with the independent members and groups currently part of the ruling alliance for seeking their support which are not comfortable with their major ally, the sources said.

The joint sitting and the National Assembly will be in session at the Parliament House while the opposition groups would be engaged in making arrangements for their all parties conference (APC) to work out strategy for launching movement against the government in the days of the Parliamentary sessions, the sources added.

The sources pointed out that the government would be working on two-pronged strategy to deal with the opposition -- firstly it could activate NAB against stalwarts of the opposition for their arrest and secondly it would work on some members of the Parliament belonging to the opposition for keeping them absent from the Parliament that could help the government get the bills passed. The majority vote is determined in the joint sitting on the basis of present members in the Parliament. It’s prevalent in the case of ordinary acts while the constitutional amendment has different course, the sources said.