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NA grants extension to PPO, two other ordinances

07 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday allowed extension in two Anti Terrorism (Amendment) ordinances and Protection of Pakistan Ordinance, 2013 for another 120 days amid heated debate and strong protest from the opposition parties.

The ordinances, which were extended through resolutions adopted by the House, included the Anti Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 (VII of 2013), Anti Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 (VIII of 2013) and the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance, 2013 (IX of 2013). The government faced no problem in passing the resolutions but the opposition parties, particularly MQM, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), PTI, Qaumi Watan Party and independent member Jamshed Dasti, opposed the move terming the ordinances as draconian ordinances and against the fundamental rights.

The opposition members chanted 'No', No' when the resolutions were moved.The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) also protested when the opposition leader Syed Khurshid Shah came into the house.

He objected to the procedure for the adoption of the resolution to extend the life of the ordinances. He said that government should not wait for the ordinance to lapse and carry out the legislation for turning these ordinances into law.

The opposition parties blamed the government for resorting to "culture of ordinances" rather than carrying out legislation to curb terrorism. "We have no problem with the objectives of the ordinances but the procedure adopted for introducing the ordinances and later their extension from the assembly is not a democratic norm at all", deputy parliamentary leader PTI Shah Mahmood Querashi remarked.

The MQM legislators were more vocal in their opposition to these ordinances and extension.JI parliamentary leader Sahibzada Tariqullah condemned the ordinances and called the move a "direct attack" on the jurisdictions of Parliament and noted that such ordinances would turn the country into police state by giving unprecedented powers to the law-enforcing agencies.Makhdoom Javed Hashmi of PTI reminded the government that such ordinances and legislations were used against Nawaz Sharif when his government was toppled by a dictator.

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