Friday December 03, 2021

NA, Senate sessions summoned for legislation

September 06, 2020

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has summoned separate sessions of the National Assembly tomorrow (Monday) and Senate on Tuesday.

Apparently the real motive to summon the separate sessions of National Assembly and Senate is legislation on the FATF-related bills which were rejected by the Senate in its previous session.

According to sources, the backdoor contacts between the government and opposition have been established for the legislation on the bill related to the FATF.

It is to be mentioned that the Senate in its previous session rejected the National Assembly-approved Anti-Money Laundering Bill and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Waqf Properties Bill.

Under the rules, if any house of the Parliament rejects the bill then the presentation of the rejected bill in the joint sitting of both the houses of the Parliament is the constitutional obligation. According to sources, the government has kept the option open for summoning the joint sitting of both the houses of the Parliament.

The opposition sources claimed that in case of joint sitting of both the houses of the Parliament, they have a majority of eight votes that could block the legislation process of the bills. But parliamentary sources claimed that the backdoor contacts have been established between the government and opposition for legislation on the FATF-related bills.

The opposition circles were of the view that if the government accepts three amendments with regard to Anti-Money Laundering Bill then the option of taking these bills into the joint sitting of both the houses of the Parliament could be avoided.

The opposition’s amendments are related to clipping the additional powers of the NAB which were given in the Anti-Money Laundering Bill under which the NAB will get the powers of arrest of any citizen without any evidence besides the politicians, bureaucrats and those who misappropriate the national exchequer.

The opposition wanted that Anti-Money Laundering Bill be passed from the National Assembly with their proposed three amendments and after getting passage from the National Assembly it would easily be passed from the Senate. If the government accepts the condition of opposition and agree to their three amendments, then there will be no need to hold the joint sitting of both the houses of the Parliament.

Sources claimed that opposition will decided the future line of action on the two FATF-related bills after assessing the situation during the session of the National Assembly which will start from tomorrow (Monday).