Government haste in legislation draws objections in NA
27 February, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The government's perceived haste in getting various pieces of legislation passed in the Lower House of parliament on Tuesday sparked reservations from its own ally ANP, which called it an inappropriate way of lawmaking.
Despite being a private members' day, the government allowed suspension of the rules for passage of a bill which was introduced by Yasmeen Rahman, a PPP lawmaker. ANP's Bushra Gohar objected to the passage of a bill on the private members' day, and urged that relevant rules should be followed to do legislation. The National Assembly also took up a key legislation by a private member regarding dual nationality.
The bill moved by PML-N's Shireen Arshad Khan proposes that if a Pakistani citizen who holds dual nationality and has taken oath of allegiance to another country indulges in any unconstitutional activity, he/she would be liable to being stripped of his Pakistani citizenship. Earlier, the House passed a private member bill of Yasmeen Rahman for the establishment of Capital University Islamabad, which triggered a debate in the House over its hasty approval.
Federal Minister of Technical Education and Vocational Training Sheikh Waqas Akram did not oppose the bill, however he was in total dark about it. Bushra Gohar contended that the House should be given time to go through the bill before its passage because legislating in haste would kill its spirit. PPP chief whip and Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah rejected the notion that government was in a hurry to legislate, saying these bills had long been pending in the House.
"These bills have been discussed in the standing committees and members should have gone through the details of these bills there rather than raising objections in the House," Shah stated. On the suspension of rules, The Capital University Islamabad Bill 2013 sailed through the House easily. However, the government's attempt to get The Pakistan Psychological Regulatory Authority (PPRA) passed in a similar fashion was thwarted by PML-N's Ahsan Iqbal when he identified various lacunas in the bill.
Bushra Gohar again objected to the attempt to pass the bill by suspending the rules of the assembly. Khursheed Shah could not defend the passage of the bill this time, and it was ultimately put on hold. The Capital University Islamabad Bill states that setting standards for the 21st century Pakistan, the Capital University aims to contribute to the higher education learning in country by promoting, innovation, research, training and learning in the fields of both social and natural sciences.
He said establishment of this university through this Act of parliament in the federal capital seeks to encourage innovation and broadening the base of access to higher education in Pakistani youth. The university will help increase the knowledge base in Pakistan and facilitate scholarships, as it becomes a seat of higher learning. Replying to a calling attention notice, State Interior Minister Imtiaz Safdar Warraich told the House that apart from the local groups such as Tehreek-e-Talban Pakistan, there are evidences of foreign involvement in disturbance in Karachi. He called the Karachi situation a source of concern and said that the government has taken action on it.