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No-trust motion moved against Suri

ISLAMABAD: The opposition Thursday submitted a no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Suri accusing him of adopting a partial attitude towards them during the proceedings.

The assembly passed 21 bills of which 11 were approved suspending the rules of the House. The no-confidence motion said the deputy speaker sided with the government on 11 occasions, ignoring the voice of the opposition and question of lack of quorum [in the House].

“The deputy speaker bulldozed the legislative business while acting as a tool of the government,” the motion said.

PMLN members, including ex-deputy speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Khurram Dastagir Khan and Romina Khurshid Alam, submitted the motion. Meanwhile, the National Assembly Thursday passed The International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2020 amid a strong protest from the opposition, giving consular access to the Indian spy Commander Jadhav Kulbhushan.

The bill’s passage will give the RAW spy the right of defence in the light of International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgment. The opposition members raised slogans after the PML-N MNA Ahsan Iqbal pointed out that the Kulbhushan-specific bill was also on heavy agenda of the day.

The opposition members also boycotted the proceedings prior to the passage of the bill complaining against the attitude of deputy speaker who had refused to heed the question of lack of quorum.

"You are teasing me time and again, as the question of quorum was raised earlier but it was complete," he said. Earlier, the opposition members pointed out lack of quorum time and again in an attempt to disrupt proceedings but on every occasion, the House was found in order.

The opposition members also protested against the passage of the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Elections (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020 and a volley of other bills passed by the Lower House of Parliament on Thursday, a day before presentation of the federal budget.

The opposition members accused the government of giving NRO to Kulbhushan, while the minister alleged that they were speaking the language of India and meeting its objectives. “Had we not promulgated the ordinance and now not moved for passage of the legislation, India could have approached the UN Security Council and moved the ICJ to take action against Pakistan for contempt of court,” said Law Minister Farogh Nasim.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the opposition parties were speaking India’s language. “India wants us that we should not pass this legislation, while the opposition members are following the same agenda,” he said

Qureshi also supported giving right of vote to overseas Pakistani who, he said, were sending huge remittances to the country every year. “There are leaders who loot national exchequer and send the same abroad but we are ignoring overseas Pakistanis who send remittances to Pakistan,” he said.

Bilawal Bhutto said if the government wanted to give NRO then why it was done through an ordinance which was promulgated in the darkness of night. “You claim to be ambassador of Kashmir but you are giving right of counsel to Indian spy Kulbhushan,” Bilawal Bhutto said.

He objected as to why it was so necessary to pass Kulbhushan-specific bill and what was urgency in getting the bills passed by suspending rules. “The government is snatching our rights to read and speak on the legislation, which is being executed in a haste,” he said.

He said the government wanted to introduce electronic voting machines in the name of electoral reforms. He said the every party wanted to give right of vote to overseas Pakistanis but the same legislation could not be passed by force.

He said there could be overseas constituencies for overseas Pakistanis but they should not use their vote for any constituency inside the country. Bilawal also came down hard on the government on twitter for speedy legislation in the National Assembly terming it as bulldozing the legislation and undermining the role of parliament.

He said, “No right to read the bill, no right to debate the bill, no right to have their vote counted and their opposition recorded.” He said the government completely undermined the role of parliament in legislation. “Highly condemnable,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, a delegation of legislators from Sindh called on Bilawal at the Zardari House, Islamabad to inform him about the injustices of the federal government with Sindh. The delegation was led by President PPP Sindh Nisar Khuhro. PPP Central President of the Women’s Wing Ms. Faryal Talpur was also present.

Earlier in the house, Ahsan Iqbal strongly objected to The International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2020 and said there was no provision in the Constitution to pass the bill in the House.

He recalled that in the past a dictator got a legislation passed with his name and a bill was on order of the National Assembly which contains the name of an Indian spy.

Ahsan Iqbal pointed out when Pakistan’s lawyer appeared before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the ICJ was told that the country’s law provided for right of appeal against judgment of the military court, at the High Court.

“Our constitution does not provide for person-specifics for Kulbhushan,” he said. He said in the Election Act, the government had proposed insertion tiled ‘Accounts Receivable’ in declaration of assets.

“It is being done to justify disqualification given to Nawaz Sharif for 10,000 Dirhams receivable which previously was in the elections law,” he said. He also objected to the demarcation of constituencies on the basis of number of votes and population.

Law Minister Farogh Nasim said the International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2020 should have been approved by the government and opposition collectively, as the legislation would foil Indian designs.

The House also approved the Port Qasim Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021; [The Port Qasim Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021; [The Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Gwadar Port Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2021; [The Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Bill, 2021; The Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Federal Medical Teaching Institutes Bill, 2020; The National Institute of Health (Re-organization) Bill, 2020; The Maritime Security Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Covid-19 (Prevention of Hoarding) Bill, 2020; [The SBP Banking Services Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2020; [The Corporate Restructuring Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Pakistan Academy of Letters (Amendment) Bill, 2021; The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and The Muslim Family Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2021.