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Opposition concerned over Musharraf visit abroad

22 March, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties in parliament on Monday took the government to task for allowing former president Pervez Musharraf to travel abroad.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Shah Mehmood Qureshi asked the government to take the nation into confidence over Musharraf’s departure from the country. He said the government should also take the House into confidence as to under what deal did the former president went to Dubai. Commenting on the joint session of parliament, he said the government has for the first time summoned a joint session of parliament, as the two houses have differences over the matter.

Responding to points raised by PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the joint session has been summoned according to the constitution and the rules. He said although convening of the joint session for legislative purposes was perfectly constitutional, the government believes this course should be avoided as it gives an impression of disharmony between the two Houses of parliament. He said it was under this spirit that the government did not opt for the joint session when Senate amended the two bills already passed by National Assembly.

Instead, the government demonstrated a spirit of cooperation by getting these bills passed in amended form by National Assembly. About the ruling of Senate chairman regarding convening of the joint session, he said in the past joint sessions for legislation were convened on the advice of the prime minister to the president. He said Monday’s joint session has also been summoned as per the rules of business of the federal government, which derive strength from the constitution.

The speaker said he has full respect for senators, Senate and its chairman and will not give any counter ruling. He said there is difference of opinion and interpretation between Senate and National Assembly Secretariat over the issue of convening of joint session for legislative purposes and this has been acknowledged by the Senate chairman as well. Speaking on the occasion, leader of the opposition in National Assembly Khursheed Shah said Musharraf overthrew an elected government and insulted the mandate of the people, and said instead of being tried under Article 6 of the constitution, he has been allowed to proceed abroad.

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